Another Expert said the notion of extremism referred to in some of the State partys policy documents was rather vague, notably from a legal standpoint, in his opinion. Learn more about each topic, see who's involved, and find the latest news, reports, events and more. For use of the information media; not an official record What could the Government do to reject the comments linking the increase in pork prices to the shutdown of the pig farm that was located on the site of a Nazi-era concentration camp for Roma? Accordingly, Czech law allowed the collection of ethnic data in an anonymous format not linking it to specific individuals and with due respect for their ethnic self-determination. LONDONThe Open Society Foundations today welcomed a decision by the European Commission to take action against the Czech Republic over continuing discrimination against Roma children in its school system. Turning to the Dublin Regulation, the delegation explained that individuals in an irregular situation could only be detained if there was a risk of them absconding. The delegation explained that there were 350,000 job vacancies in the country, two-thirds of which only required low level or no qualifications. The authorities did not collect data on Roma pupils, explained the delegation, adding that the available data were based on qualified estimates by school headmasters and therefore not entirely reliable. All subsidized apartments had rents that were lower than that of the local market. It was not very important how many people comprised the group that identified as a national minority; a national minority was a group of people that had Czech citizenship and were different from the majority. The Committee commended the efforts made by State party, but the Roma still faced discrimination on the housing market. The delegation said the Ombudsperson was the national preventive mechanism under the Convention against Torture and the monitoring mechanism under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, amongst others. On the Moravians and Salesians, it was generally understood to refer to regional identity. Were they merely subsistence jobs? The procedural shift of the burden of proof was already applied in all cases of racial discrimination, she stressed. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Avtonomov, Committee Rapporteur for the Czech Republic,welcomed the constructive nature of the dialogue and urged the delegation to read the Committees recommendations concerning special measures which were sometimes needed to provide rehabilitation vis--vis historical injustices. The time limit for reparations related to the forced sterilizations seemed rather short. The Government could put together an effective mechanism to notably address the time-limit issue. Did these jobs lead to people to move up in society? There were still some institutional gaps, notably the absence of a national human rights institution in line with the Paris Principles. All the documents relating to the Committees work during this session, including reports submitted by States parties, are available on the sessions webpage . What were the results of the Roma Integration Strategy 2014-2020, especially in the labour market? First, it could systematically apply pre-school education so that Roma children could grow up with other children - the State could play its role by securing places for all children and adequately training pre-school teachers. In November, the Slovak Republic formally apologized to Roma women for a program of forced sterilizations that stretched out for decades. A special hotline would encourage the general public to report hate crimes online. Secondly, the Government could create social pedagogue positions, which would bridge social and educational sectors, and had proven very effective. The Government had published a handbook for experts in the police and other officials to help with the identification of hate speech and hate-related incidents. Those benefitting from international protection could access a wide range of services, including the provision of 400 hours of training in the Czech language over a period of 12 months and the accommodation assistance. He would be grateful for any comments and up-to-date information on this matter. The Rapporteur emphasized the importance of accurate and detailed data on the composition of the population for the implementation of the Convention and in this context wondered if Moravians and Salesians were considered ethnic minorities. Where the Roma able to apply and secure these jobs? The delegation noted with satisfaction that the economic situation in the country was very good and the labour market was excellent shape - the unemployment rate was the lowest in the European Union which allowed the Government to focus on long-term unemployment. It was almost impossible for the Government to monitor these jobs due to the right to the inviolability of private life. Healthcare could not be refused to women in labour or to individuals in need of emergency health care, regardless of whether they were participants in the national health care scheme. Most domestic jobs were held by independent workers provided by agencies. All schools were obliged to include these topics in their educational programmes to achieve the set educational goals for their pupils. The Ombudsperson had its own office, staff and budget. How did the Government tackle discrimination and prejudice against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers? What was being done in the Czech Republic in this regard and how was the country using the Convention to eliminate deeply rooted discrimination? ANDREA BAROV, Director of the Department of Human Rights and Minority Protection of the Czech Republic, said the concept of national minorities was a traditional one and dated back to the nineteenth century when there had been many nationalities in the same country. While Czechia had made progress in implementing the Committees recommendations, the struggle against racial discrimination remained constant. There had been a large increase in anti-Semitic incidents related to peoples actual or perceived Jewishness. The infringement proceedings call into question the Czech Republics compliance with: Article 21 (1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which prohibits discrimination based on any ground such as race or ethnic origin; and the Race Equality Directive (2000/43/EC (RED)) Articles 2.2a, 2.2b, 2.3, 3.1.g, which prohibit discrimination in access to education on the grounds of race or ethnicity. These workers were often vulnerable as they were more dependent on their employers than other types of workers. He requested information on the implementation of the strategy that had been devised by the Government to address this issue, as well as a preliminary evaluation of it.
The Government viewed court action as the primary means of redress for victims, and this position remained unchanged. Other Experts remarked that municipalities had to shoulder the bulk of responsibilities in providing education and housing services to Roma and asked how the Government assumed its burden. The initiatives related to minority cultures and languages were note considered as affirmative action since they were permanent. The Roma Integration Strategy aimed to improve the situation of the Roma minority in housing, education, employment, health care and services, and to foster the development of the Roma culture and language. With fearless and bold photography, Open Society Foundations Community Youth Fellow Joci Marton is challenging how LGBTI Roma are perceivedby outsiders, but also by themselves. How a Slovak human rights group helped hold the government accountable. During the dialogue, the Experts took note of the increase in anti-Semitic incidents, including hate speech against Jews, and raised a concern about a low number of investigations into those crimes. Residential segregation of Roma was the key to many other issues, the Experts stressed and acknowledged that this was an issue that was not easy to address. Another Expert was reassured to hear that the transfer of the Agency for Social Inclusion into the Ministry of Interior was seen as a positive move and stressed that affirmative action was part of the minority rights framework and it aimed to rectify the under-representation of minorities, particularly in the police and the judiciary. The relationship between landlords and tenants was strictly regulated by the Civil Code, lease termination in particular. Returning to the issue of Roma childrens access to education, an Expert asked about the States strategy on this issue, notably with regard to special education. The Judicial Academy held regular courses, training sessions and workshops on hate crime for judges, prosecutors and other members of the judiciary. The Czech Republic had also reformed its health care laws in 2012 to prevent illegal sterilization in the future, as described in the report. The Education Act had been significantly amended, the funding allocated to joint education programmes had been increased, and a system of support measures for students facing social challenges had been put in place. Moving on to racism and xenophobia in sports, the delegation said football clubs had launched disciplinary procedures to address this issue. Education about human rights, equality, democracy and connected issues was firmly rooted in the Czech education system. What had been done in connection with the recent events in this respect? The Czech Republic was aware of the remaining challenges, in particular concerning social inclusion, equal employment opportunities for Roma, and compensation for victims of forced sterilization. This discrepancy in numbers might partly explain the discrimination against Roma in the Czech Republic, he said. The Ombudsperson had recently issued recommendations concerning equal access to education and conducted research on joint education for Roma and non-Roma children. A pilot programme was in place and the Government was considering measures to make some of its components permanent. The social and economic situation of the other national minorities was, however, better than that of the Roma. It also held regular meetings with mayors of towns and municipalities, carried out communications campaigns on social media, and shared best practices with international partners. They were at particular risk of forced evictions. Get the latest from our news, events and meetings. One could nevertheless self-identify as Moravian or Salesian in the census, as the list of national and ethnic affiliations included therein was not closed. What kinds of jobs were these? How was the Government ensuring that there was the responsibility in that regard? Ensuring that Roma children have a fair shot at a decent education is a fundamental part of the struggle to overcome that discrimination. Data were collected notably through the census, the research surveys, and the assessment by headmasters, who were asked to estimate the number of Roma children in their schools. It included the provision of personal intervention and awareness-raising activities. Statement delivered at the occasion of 2019 International Day against Racial Discrimination, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 21 March 2019, Video statement for the 2019 International Day for the elimination of racial discrimination, National institutions and regional mechanisms. ALEXEI S. AVTONOMOV, Committee Rapporteur for the Czech Republic, in his concluding remarks welcomed the constructive nature of the dialogue and urged the delegation to read the Committees recommendations concerning special measures which were sometimes needed to provide rehabilitation vis--vis historical injustices. This hotel had decided not to admit Russian nationals and later required that Russian nationals make a statement on the annexation of Crimea to be admitted. Despite the efforts by the Government, discrimination against Roma continued, in particular in the areas of employment, housing and education: Roma were often employed in the informal sector of the economy, they were at particular risk of forced evictions, there was a high number of Roma children in special schools and their dropout rate was high as well. The possibility of accreditation was being discussed at the moment with the Ombudsperson and her staff. Efforts had been made to address this issue in sports. Q&A: A Step Toward Justice for Roma Women, Q&A: A Media Haven for Europes LGBTI Roma.
Employing Roma would increase the legitimacy of institutions as well as the trust of Roma in institutions. What were the requirements that a victim had to meet to be admitted to the Governments programme to support and protect victims of trafficking in persons? The Ombudsperson participated in public events such as conferences and was in close contact with various Government bodies and non-governmental organizations such as tenants associations. He asked if the Government carried out research studies or surveys to assess the state of racial discrimination in Czechia. Turning to the illegal sterilization of Roma women, Ms. Barov said that, in the end, the Czech Government had not adopted a special law on extrajudicial compensation of illegally sterilized persons in 2015. Turning to the trafficking in persons, he said criminals were using the Czech Republic as a transit country and people were trafficked from Czechia and in Czechia. There had been 1,702 requests for international protection in 2018, the majority were Ukrainians, Georgians, Cubans, and Romanians. In 2016, there had been 14,000 support measures reaching 5,400 socially disadvantaged pupils. The Experts drew the delegations attention to the case of two Roma pupils who had been discriminated against and refused access to a school, based on their ethnic origin. It should also be noted that the procedural shift of the burden of proof was already applied in all cases of racial discrimination. It was also regrettable that, in court, the burden of proof was still shared between the victim and accused person and that racial discrimination still appeared to be insufficiently addressed by the courts. They asked if the Government would consider implementing nation-wide affirmative action programmes to foster Romas access to public sector jobs, notably in the health sector. It set out the means of protection against discrimination, including judicial proceedings aimed at bringing an end to discrimination, remedying its consequences and compensating victims. The UN Human Rights Office and the mechanisms we support work on a wide range of human rights topics. tpn Drahokoupil, who works on education and youth policy at the Prague-based Open Society Fund, noted that the move comes as the Czech Parliament is discussing an amendment to the education law, which could have impact on so-called practical schools, where Roma and children with disabilities aredisproportionately represented. The Government also used data from the entities that provided specialized education. The total number of Roma pupils in all basic school had gone up from 32,791 in 2016 to 34,767 in 2018. Noting that a Togolese football player had become a star in the Czech Republic, the Experts asked about measures taken to address racial discrimination in sports in the country. Absent substantial changes in policy and practice, referral of this case to the Court of Justice will be essential to show that the EU and its member states take seriously their commitment to the rule of law and equal justice for all.. Romas access to education, employment, and adequate housing, as well as the emergence of new forms of extremism were among topics broached by Experts of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as it considered the twelfth and thirteenth periodic report of the Czech Republic on its implementation of the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. A child of a Czech mother had the right to a nationality, while in case of a child whose father was a Czech, the paternity was established based on a formal declaration by the parents. ANDREA BAROV, Director of the Department of Human Rights and Minority Protection of the Czech Republic, said the report drew on input from public authorities, the Ombudsperson as the equality body, and representatives of civil society and academia working with the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic. An ongoing pilot project would be broadened by the end of next year, while a strategy on socially excluded localities should be finalized in the fall and subsequently submitted for approval to the Government. The Czech Republic supported mainly the migration of high-skilled workers to support the national economy. The definition of socially excluded localities had been broadened in the most recent survey. It was no longer possible for a child to be placed in an educational programme without their consent or that of their parents. The Anti-Discrimination Act governed conditions for protection against discrimination in key areas of life, such as employment, housing, social protection, health care, education, and access to goods and services. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is the leading United Nations entity in the field of human rights, with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people. Follow UNIS Geneva on: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube |Flickr. ALEXEI S. AVTONOMOV, Committee Rapporteur for the Czech Republic, said that according to the provisions of the International Convention, State parties were called upon to adopt special measures to address historic and deeply rooted discrimination. This issue could be debated, however. The Ministry of the Interior and the Police of the Czech Republic were currently working to make this tool more user-friendly. Regarding the burden of proof, it was shifted for all racial discrimination cases. A report in February 2012 from the European Commissioner of Human Rights pointed out that an estimated 30 percent of Roma children in the Czech Republic are still placed in the special practical schools compared to two percent of their non-Roma counterparts. As detailed in the report, the Ombudsperson was an independent body contributing to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Every year the Open Society Foundations give thousands of grants to groups and individuals that work on the issues we focus onpromoting tolerance, transparency, and open debate. Equal access to education for Roma children was one of the most important prerequisites in the pursuit of successful integration. At the beginning of the dialogue, Andrea Barov, Director of the Department of Human Rights and Minority Protection of the Czech Republic, presented her countrys report under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The reopening of this issue was not being considered for now. There was a high number of Roma children in special schools and their dropout rate was high as well. The Office of the Government also promoted the use of minority languages and cultural activities of national minorities through a subsidy scheme implementing the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Press releases On the campaigns blog, there were over 1,600 contributions on various issues connected with tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism. Framework educational programmes for the education of children from six to 18 years of age included measures to introduce these topics to schoolchildren in a manner appropriate to their age and abilities. Another delegate explained that two nation-wide survey of socially excluded localities had been conducted and added that the increase in the number of such localities was due to a change in the methodological approach. The Czech Government was aware of the difficulties faced by some ethnic minorities in having equal access to their rights. The Ministry of Interior could also start an administrative procedure that could lead to the closing of the stadium or the imposition of fines. The Paris Principles had thus, for the most part, been implemented by the Ombudsperson. Could the delegation provide information on this case as well as on the Governments reaction to it? The law enforcement authorities were focusing on improving the detection and prosecution of hate crimes. Alexei S. Avtonomov, Committee Rapporteur for the Czech Republic, commended the countrys efforts but deplored the continuing discrimination against Roma: they often held low-paid jobs in the informal economy, lived in segregated settlements where they were at high risk of forced evictions, while Roma children were disproportionately represented among special education pupils.
Censuses did not give the full picture, so to speak, on this matter. To further eliminate disparities across the country, the focus would be put on the disadvantaged areas and on supporting the children with insufficient command of the Czech language. On the right to a pension, notably for refugees, the general criterion was having worked for 35 years but there were exceptions. In 2018, the Government has supported 16,000 such jobs, aiming to help the long-term unemployed get back into the habit of having a routine. The change would not lead to the worsening of the situation of the Agency for Social Inclusion. Teachers, counsellors and other pedagogical staff were trained in new teaching and assessment methods. The concluding observations on the report of the Czech Republic will be issued at the end of the ninety-ninth session on 29 August, when the Committees next public meeting will take place. ALEXEI S. AVTONOMOV, Committee Rapporteur for the Czech Republic, addressed the question of refugees and migrants, asking specifically about the eligibility requirements for pension schemes imposed on refugees and underlining the challenges faced by undocumented migrant women in accessing prenatal healthcare. Thus the data were more tentative than representative. The Czech Government was aware of the difficulties faced by some ethnic minorities in having equal access to their rights, acknowledged Ms. Barov. ALEXEI S. AVTONOMOV, Committee Rapporteur for the Czech Republic, thanked the delegation for being present. The Government had approved 42 asylum requests and had approved over a hundred requests for subsidiary protection. It communicated directly with the public and the Parliament, which elected the Ombudsperson and to which she submitted reports. Hate speech was present throughout the world and Czechia was no exception. James Goldston, executive director of the Justice Initiative, said: The European Commissions decision is a wake-up call to officials in Prague and other European capitals that discrimination must end. How was the Government addressing the resistance of non-Roma parents to integrating education that could block such efforts? They were often employed in the informal sector of the economy. The Commission will ask the Czech government to respond to complaints that it is breaching European Union law by continuing to allow Roma children to be funneled into separate schools, in breach of both the EUs anti-discrimination law and its charter of fundamental rights. The expertise of law enforcement authorities in the fight against hate crime continued to be based on appropriate training for judges, prosecutors and police officers. The delegation recalled that it was the institution itself that had to apply to receive accreditation based on the Paris Principles. On the transmission of citizenship, the delegation recalled that the mother was always known, but the identity of the father could be uncertain. It was prohibited to collect information about the ethnicity of specific individuals and create any public personal registers including such information. Anti-Semitism was a continuing issue; the Jewish minority was a target of hate speech. The Czech Republic was aware of the Committees recommendations concerning forced sterilization and was examining it.