The Public Defender of Rights - Detention of Foreigners 2012
The Public Defender of Rights

Protection of Persons Restricted in their Freedom

Facilities for the Detention of Foreigners

Visits and Activities in 2012

A systematic visit to Permon, a facility designed for children who are foreign nationals (Children’s Home with School and Educational Institution, Facility for Children – Foreign Nationals, Diagnostic Institution, Children’s Home with School, Educational Institution, Centre of Educational Care, Elementary School and Practical School) took place in 2011, and included two local inquiries. Most of the findings were assessed by the Defender in 2012. He mainly pointed out that the structure of admitted children – foreign nationals was not in line with the original target group for which the institution had been founded, and noted inadequate living conditions in the educational institution and treatment of children – foreign nationals in general. All in all, the Defender ascertained maltreatment and notified of this fact the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports as the relevant authority, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office. The competent authorities – most of all, the relevant authority – were invited to look into the situation in the facility, and to work together in order to prepare a new concept of care for children – foreign nationals.

As the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports failed to provide for any remedy on the part of the facility or to contribute to preparing a new concept of care for children – foreign nationals, the Defender decided to use his sanction powers by informing the public. The Ministry as the relevant authority failed in its duty to prevent, detect and punish maltreatment.

Subsequently, by a decision of the relevant authority, the remote facility of the institution was closed down (Children’s Home with School, Educational Institution). Through Resolution No. 646/2012 dated 6 September 2012, the Government adopted a new Concept of the protection and care of unaccompanied foreign minors, including international protection seekers. An amendment to the Act on the Exercise of Institutional Education or Protective Education (Act No. 109/2002 Coll., as amended) modified the competence of a facility designed to provide care for children – foreigners. At present, foreign nationality is not the only criterion for admitting a child to a facility, and the actual situation of a specific child, i.e. whether he/she comes from an utterly different cultural and social background, the existence of a major language barrier, possible traumatizing experience (war, etc.), must be taken into account.

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