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Deputy of the Public Defender of Rights

Monika Šimůnková

In office since 4 December 2019

Monika Šimůnková was born in Prague on 25 December 1972.

She graduated from the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague and is currently among the foremost experts on legal protection of children.

During her studies, she completed a one-year scholarship at the University of Passau (Germany). In 2002, she passed the bar examination and was subsequently employed in several law offices.

In 2004–2010, she worked as a lawyer and as the Deputy Director at Our Child Foundation (Nadace Naše dítě). In this position, she addressed a number of projects aimed at protection of children’s rights, and was a member of the Board of Directors of EURONET, a Brussels-based international organisation focused on protection of children’s rights. Furthermore, she has founded the Legal Advice Hotline of Our Child Foundation, for which she received, together with the Foundation, the Czech Lawyer of the Year Award in the category of family law in 2006.

In 2011, she was appointed Government Commissioner for Human Rights. She held this position for almost three years, focusing mainly on the areas of social exclusion, protection of children, the elderly, people with disabilities and national minorities. She also engaged in the area of education and showed interest in questions of the prison system and the rights of people in facilities where freedom is restricted. She initiated the Czech version of the One in Five Council of Europe campaign to stop sexual violence against children, and also, e.g., the creation of the section for children on the Public Defender’s website. She has led several delegations of the Czech Republic defending reports on human rights and the fulfilment of commitments following from international conventions, e. g., before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN Human Rights Council, the Council of Europe, etc.

In 2014, she received her second Czech Lawyer of the Year Award, this time in the category of civil and human rights.

In 2016–2018, she served as an advisor to the Ministers of Education, Youth and Sports in the area of inclusive education and related topics. She gained valuable international experience in this sector during an internship within the US Government’s International Visitor Leadership Program focusing on educational support for minority groups.

She dealt with human rights issues also as a lawyer for the Czech Helsinki Committee.

At present, she is a member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child of the Council of the Government for Human Rights and a member of the Working Group on Obstetrics of the Czech Government Council for Equal Opportunities of Women and Men, and has been active in supporting the adoption of a law on indemnification of unlawfully sterilised women. In connection with protection of children’s rights in court proceedings and promotion of greater support for families, she also participates in efforts aimed to improve the conditions of family and guardianship justice, including the topic of the legal status of persons with limited legal capacity.

She is fluent in German and English. She has further extended her expert knowledge and skills by participating in the Resolution of Conflicts through Mediation training provided by the Czech Association of Mediators.