26. 09. 2016
Over the last few years, the Public Defender of Rights received many complaints by persons who were, for instance, not allowed to enter certain buildings or public transport vehicles with their assistance dogs. Some complainants faced the same obstacles in receiving spa treatment or in their places of employment.
Specially trained guide dogs help remove, mitigate or overcome the effects of disability. Their purpose is to compensate for a certain handicap. Such dogs are indispensable parts of the lives of people with disabilities. They allow them to exercise their right to free movement and independence.
Currently, the law does not regulate the rights of persons accompanied by specially trained guide dogs. While these rights may be inferred from the Anti-Discrimination Act, their enforcement in practice is far from effective. In the Czech Republic, there are no legal rules defining the rights of people accompanied by guide dogs.
The Public Defender of Rights has been engaged in the subject of specially trained guide dogs for a long time, specifically since 2009. In 2010, this engagement resulted in issuing the Recommendation of the Public Defender of Rights on the access of guide dogs to public areas. The current proposal, therefore, presents a logical next step in this direction. For this reason, the Defender recommended that the Government adopt a law that would regulate the rights of persons with disabilities who use specially trained guide dogs, encompassing the following areas:
The Government Committee for Persons with Disabilities discussed the recommendation for the Government and also recommended that the Government adopt a resolution for the relevant law to be drawn up and submitted for approval.
The Government accepted the recommendation.