Tomáš Ščuka

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Protect Yourself from Fake NewsCzech Republic

Tomáš Ščuka graduated from the Police Academy of the Czech Republic, Security and Legal Studies department in Prague in 2012. He is currently in the process of completing a combined master’s program in European Law at Palacký University Olomouc and the University of Salsburg. He works as an external teacher of social work at a high school in Brno. Tomáš is also a coordinator at the National Institute of Public Health focusing on the support of health care in socially excluded communities in the South Moravian region. From 2014-2017, Tomáš worked for the European Parliament and European Commission. First, he worked for the parliamentary group of the Socialists and Democrats, and then he collaborated on a report about the Roma people in Europe. Later, he served a short-term assignment with the Joint Research Centre working on social inclusion for marginalized communities including the Roma people. He was also actively involved in a project to analyze desegregation in the field of education in Hungary.

Tomáš has extensive experience on Roma-related issues. His professional career is based on the conviction that equal access to public services should start at an early age. Last year, he became a chairman of the working group for Roma youth and other EU policies at the Inter-ministerial Commission for Roma Community Affairs. In 2018, Tomáš was selected as a junior researcher for a joint project of the Council of Europe, the Georg Eckert Institute and the Roma Education Fund, focusing on the representation of Roma in European textbooks. He provided data collection, analysis, and critical tasks for the preparation of the final report, which he presented at the commission meeting in 2020. On this basis of the report, the commission adopted a resolution to improve the situation.

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Protect Yourself from Fake News

This project raised awareness of fake news and hoaxes, particularly within the Romani community in the Czech Republic, as this community is the most frequent victim of these threats. Tomáš organized three in-person workshops and one online discussion, engaging over 2000 people in conversation about fact-checking and combatting misinformation. There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the accessibility of these workshops from those who live in socially excluded localities. Their attendance at the activities showed that there is a need for more community events focused on public affairs, but there are also many barriers that often inhibit their participation in these conversations.

"I believe [this project] will draw attention to this social problem and could gain systemic support in the fight against misinformation and fake news against the most vulnerable groups of citizens." - Tomáš Ščuka

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Dignified Protection for the Roma People of Ukraine

The project reached 60 workshop participants, who learned about active citizenship, democracy and the protection of minorities. It is very shameful that even during the international humanitarian crisis, when people are helping refugees from Ukraine, there can still be discrimination against vulnerable groups. Violations of fundamental human rights must not be overlooked in any democratic society. Anti-gypsyism is a Europe-wide phenomenon, which dehumanizes Roma people, and this project sought to support their dignified protection.

IVLP Exchange Experience

Tomáš was a participant in the IVLP Project A Global Moment in Time- Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in 2021 and 2023, both organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Tomáš' exchange experience led him to develop his IVLP Impact Award Projects: "A special moment for me was meeting at the Baptist Church in Boston. The story of the black community and the struggle for their basic human rights is similar to that of the Roma."

U.S. Communities Visited in 2023

San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC; Boston, MA

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually in 2021

San Francisco, CA; Colorado Springs, CO

"The IVLP program is a great opportunity to develop and enhance skills. I believe that my participation can help me to contribute my experience in the field to the development of inclusive, cross-community education and to actively participate in the EU’s decision-making process in themes related to human rights." - Tomáš Ščuka


Country: Czech Republic

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