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Government approves creation of Children's Ombudsman and National Human Rights Institution (NHRI)

April 11, 2024 News

Following the Government's meeting on the amendment to the Ombudsman Act, the Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček welcomed the Minister for Legislation's position on the institution of a Children's Ombudsman. The establishment of the Children's Ombudsman along with the expansion of the Ombudsman's mandate in the protection of human rights was approved by the Government on Wednesday April 10th.

Reinforcing human rights protection in the Czech Republic: The Defender draws on Norway’s experience

March 18, 2024 News

The Defender, Stanislav Křeček, and his deputy, Vít Alexander Schorm, introduced today the preparations made by their office with regard to the possible further expansion of their competence in the field of human rights protection. Over the past four years, the Defender has utilised 38.25 million Czech crowns under the Norway Grants project [1] to enhance his activities in the area of human rights with a number of surveys, reports and recommendations, as well as other activities aimed at experts and the general public. Thanks, among others, to the partnership with the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution, the staff of the Defender’s Office have gained experience in working methods typical of institutions with a broad human rights protection mandate. They already put the experience to use in their current work, and will benefit from it especially if the Public Defender of Rights assumes the role of a national human rights institution (NHRI) and a children’s ombudsman. Both are envisaged by the forthcoming amendment to the Public Defender of Rights Act, discussed by the Legislative Council of the Government on Thursday, 29 February.

Tranquilisers instead of individual support: even such cases are encountered during the Defender’s visits to residential facilities for people with disabilities

December 3, 2023 News

The stories of two men with mental disabilities recorded by employees of the Defender’s Office during their visits illustrate a phenomenon which has been mostly overlook so far: some people with mental disabilities, especially those with challenging behaviour, receive high doses of tranquilisers. According to the Deputy Defender, this practice has to change. Behaviour is often the only possible form of communication for people who cannot otherwise make contact with others. It is therefore necessary that the latter understand the unmet needs behind the patient’s challenging behaviour and be able to respond accordingly. Tranquillisers must not be the first, let alone the only and permanent “solution”.

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