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It is good that the Government wants to establish a Children's Ombudsman and a National Human Rights Institution. But we can't do it without people, warns Ombudsman

July 18, 2023 News

The Ombudsman has sent his comments on the draft law amending the Ombudsman Act to the Minister for Legislation. The Government's proposal aims to establish a Children's Ombudsman and a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) under the Office of the Ombudsman. This will entail many new responsibilities and tasks. The Ombudsman therefore advises the Government that adequate funding and staffing are needed to carry out the new mandates with dignity.

Czech Ombudsman´s Advisory Body: Thousands of people with disabilities lack full legal capacity in violation with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

July 3, 2023 News

The Ombudsman's Advisory Body for people with disabilities is alarmed about the large number of people with disabilities in the Czech Republic restricted in their legal capacity. Members of the advisory body expressed their concern during their June session. As Ombudsman's research shows, the courts in the Czech Republic still prefer restrictions of legal capacity to other forms of support. People with restricted legal capacity cannot make independent decisions in important areas of their lives. For example, they cannot freely manage their own property, make decisions about their health, marry or vote. This is contrary to Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UN Committee has previously criticized the new Czech legislation which continues to allow for restrictions of legal capacity.

At the Night of Dignity, we remembered not only Dorota Šandorová, but also the situation of other people with disabilities

January 6, 2023 News

Dorota Šandorova experienced many years of abuse by caregivers in a social services facility. Two years ago, one of them killed her on the night of 6-7 January. He straddled her, brutally twisted her arms behind her back and pushed her full force against her chest until she fell unconscious and suffocated. The court convicted the perpetrator of murder, then reclassified it as negligent homicide. The incident did not become public until last November and did not appear in professional case reports. Today, we at the Office of the Public Defender of Rights, along with people in other places across the Czech Republic, remembered Dorota Šandorová.

PF 2023

December 5, 2022 PF

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year full of health, peace and love

Mistreatment of People with Disabilities in Social Services has among others Systemic Causes as well, warns Ombudsman

November 28, 2022 News

"People with severe mental and combined disabilities are very vulnerable. They are often completely dependent on the care of those around them. It is all the more serious to find that they are exposed to mistreatment in what should be a safe home for them. This is unacceptable," says Ombudsman Stanislav Křeček, referring to a recent article published in the weekly magazine Respekt about cases of abused and even killed clients of several social services institutions.

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.