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Ombudsmen from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland call for preserving the continuity of national ombudsman institutions and highlight their indispensable role in democies based on the rule of law

October 21, 2022 News

At the end of their meeting in Kroměříž, the three ombudsmen from the Visegrad Four countries stressed the importance of an active relationship between the state and ombudsman institutions. The importance of the ombudsman's mission, according to them, is particularly clear at a time of social change, such as the epidemic of covid and the war in Ukraine.

Ombudsmen from the Visegrad Four countries met in Kroměříž to share their experience of helping people fleeing the war in Ukraine

October 20, 2022 News

The Visegrad Four countries, as neighbours or as linguistically and culturally close countries, have become destinations and new homes for millions of people affected by the war in Ukraine. The experience and assistance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in the face of such a huge movement of people seeking a safe haven is being discussed today by representatives of the four Visegrad ombudsman institutions. Each year, their offices take turns to organise a conference focused on issues related to their work. This year's two-day meeting is hosted by the Czech Ombudsman Stanislav Křeček, who has invited his foreign ombudsman colleagues and experts from their offices to the moravian town of Kroměříž.

Current status of the project “Reinforcing the activities of the Public Defender of Rights in the protection of human rights (with the aim of establishing a National Human Rights Institution in the Czech Republic)”

September 27, 2022 News

The four-year project, which started on 1 January 2020, is now halfway through. It was introduced to the public at an opening press conference in January 2020 and its goal is to increase the protection of the rights of persons falling under the Defender’s mandate, especially vulnerable groups such as children, youth and victims of ill-treatment and discrimination, thanks to the reinforcement of the staff of the legal department and the secretariat of the Public Defender of Rights. The project itself comprises a large number of activities, which can be divided into six thematic areas for easier understanding the project’s essence. The project will continue until 31 December 2023.

Children found out at the Defender’s conference how the Defender could help them. In the meantime, politicians and experts discussed the role of a defender of the rights of children

June 15, 2022 News

At the first conference at the Office of the Public Defender of Rights dedicated directly to children, the young participants addressed topics such as participation of children in public life, where they sought help in solving various problems and what they thought a defender of the rights of children should do. At a working meeting with politicians and experts held on the same day, the Public Defender of Rights and his deputy discussed not only the Defender’s role in the protection of children’s rights, but also the position of a defender of the rights of children.

The quality of care for children in institutional care is often based on the individual approach of staff and management. Systematic visits to homes and institutions have once again shown that children, as well as directors of institutions, would benefit from having laws to lean on

June 10, 2022 News

The summary report from the facilities for children, who – due to various reasons — cannot be cared for by their biological or foster family, provides an overview of findings from systematic visits to twelve children's homes and educational institutions. Lawyers from the Office of the Ombudsman, together with experts on children's issues, visited them in 2019-2021 as part of the agenda for the prevention of ill-treatment of people deprived of their liberty. The Deputy Ombudsman Monika Šimůnková, who is in charge of this agenda, then formulated recommendations for both the Ministry of Education and the facilities themselves.

Have you worked in more than one European Union country? Don't forget to say so on your pension application

May 9, 2022 News

Every year, about 100 complainants turn to the Ombudsman because of pensions or benefits "with a foreign element". Cases involving EU countries are among the most easily solved — EU social law guarantees migrant workers benefits under the national legislation of their home country, ensures that people do not lose their entitlement to benefits because of working abroad and, last but not least, guarantees that benefits are paid to another Member State. Interconnection within the Union has also simplified communication between authorities on different sides of the border.

Ombudsman's recommendations on EU workers could help other foreign workers, workshop hears

April 22, 2022 News

Czech Ombudsman presented to representatives of state authorities his recommendations, which he formulated at the end of last year on the basis of an extensive survey of EU citizens living in the Czech Republic. Most of the recommendations are focused on areas of work and employment. Ombudsman Stanislav Křeček noted to the workshop participants that if state institutions translated his recommendations into practice, it would improve conditions for all foreign workers, not just those from the European Union. Ombudsman considers this topic particularly important in the context of the arrival of large numbers of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. 

UNICEF representatives discussed with the ombudsman the assistance to Ukrainian children in the Czech Republic

March 23, 2022 News

Philippe Cori, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, presented to Czech Ombudsman the UN Children's Fund's capacity to deal with the challenges of the arrival of people affected by the war in Ukraine. Majority of people arriving are children and their relatives. Over the next three years, UNICEF will provide support to the Czech Republic and other countries receiving people affected by the war. The Ombudsman, together with ministries and representatives of regions and municipalities, is one of the key institutions for UNICEF to identify where and in what form the aid to Ukrainian children should be directed.

Czech Ombudsman Assured Ukrainian Consuls and Ukrainian Ombudswoman of his Active Assistance and Support to Ukrainians Affected by the War

March 3, 2022 News

In letters to the Ukrainian ombudsman and both Ukrainian consuls in Brno Czech public deffender of rights strongly condemned the invasion of their country by the Russian Federation. At the same time, he assured them that he would help Ukrainians in the Czech Republic to the maximum extent possible and provide them with support in their difficult situation. 

Public Deffender of Rights on Current Events in Ukraine and Assistance of its Citizens

February 25, 2022 News

Unilateral aggression against a sovereign state is in direct contradiction to the norms and social ethics of the 21st century. Protecting the rights and lives of people, as well as the future of the nation targeted by this extreme act, is a major challenge for the entire international community. Our sympathies are with all those directly affected by today's events and we deplore the unnecessary loss of life on both sides of the conflict. We stand with those who defend human rights anywhere in the world.

Workers from EU countries have the right to same treatment as locals - Ombudsman summarizes recommendations for authorities, municipalities, regions and ministries

December 30, 2021 News

The Public Defender of Rights set his recommendations on the basis of extensive research among EU citizens living in the Czech Republic. More than a thousand people, proportionally represented not only by nationality, but also by education or their residence in the Czech Republic, described their experiences in dealing with the authorities, health care or education. Above all the participants commented on issues related to work and employment — and this is the area where most of the Ombudsman's recommendations are directed. Ombudsman's remit has been extended to include the right to free movement of EU citizens since 2018. According to the Ombudsman Czech authorities, with whom foreigners most often deal, should improve communication and, for example, regularly update their Czech and foreign language websites with information specifically for foreign workers. He also sees the role of the State Labour Inspection Office as crucial.

Lottery for the date of meeting at Czech embassies is transparent way to the receipt of visa applications

December 1, 2021 News

People who fail at least twice in the lottery for the date of meeting for submitting their visa application at Czech embassies abroad can submit their application without attending in person. These are, for example, applicants for long-term stays and visas for family reunification, study or seasonal employment. Drawable registrations have been introduced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in recent years at some embassies to increase transparency in the receipt of applications. At the same time, the system is intended to prevent suspicions of corruption in the granting of appointments, according to the MFA. Monika Šimůnková, the Deputy Ombudsman, examined the rules and said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not make any mistakes in introducing the draw of dates.

Swedish Teacher Asked the Czech Labour Office for Several Months to Confirm his Earnings. He did not get Information until the Deputy Ombudsman Intervened

November 8, 2021 News

Even after several urgencies from the Swedish Unemployment Office, the Czech Labour Office did not provide necessary information for the assessment of unemployment benefits to the Swedish teacher. According to the Deputy Ombudsman Monika Šimůnková, the Labour Office erred by not providing the necessary data without undue delay. Due to the lack of information from the Czech Republic, the man was left without unemployment benefits for almost 8 months.

Visegrad hosted meeting of V4 ombudspersons

October 22, 2021 News

Representatives of ombudsman institutions of the V4 countries met at the invitation of the Hungarian Ombudsman in the city that gave its name to this group of Central European countries. At the two-day meeting, they presented how they deal with selected problems in their countries.

In 15 years, Czech Ombudsman has inspected 504 facilities where people are deprived of their personal liberty - pushed for the abolition of cage beds and improved conditions for thousands of people

October 6, 2021 News

By systematically visiting places where people are or may be deprived of their personal liberty, Ombudsman strengthens their protection against ill-treatment. Since 2006, Czech Ombudsman has been carrying out the tasks of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

Public Defender of Rights of the Czech Republic publishes the Annual Report 2020

September 17, 2021 News

The Annual Report 2020 brings comprehensive information about the activities of the Public Defender of Rights of the Czech Republic in all areas of his mandate. It includes the Defender’s activities in legislative matters and in relation to the Constitutional Court, the main achievements and activities in the areas of discrimination and equal treatment, monitoring of rights of people with disabilities and supervision over restrictions of personal freedom (National Preventive Mechanism). It also offers an overview of the main activities in all other areas of the ombudsman’s work – social security, public policy, family, healthcare and labour, rules of construction procedure, judiciary, migration, and finance.