The report describes the developments in the area of human rights from 2013 to 2017 and follows up the midterm report submitted by the Czech government in 2015. The situation in specific areas was monitored by human rights government
advisory bodies which are the platform for discussions between government and civil society.
United Nations (UN) member states recommended in periodic report assessing the human rights situation in the Czech Republic that the country improve Roma integration, tackle racism, xenophobia and islamophobia, and continue seeking gender equality, CTK/Prague Monitor writes.
The report focuses on International obligations, Combating discrimination, Rights of the child, Trafficking in human beings, Institutional framework of human rights protection, Roma integration, Equality between women and men, Combating crime and racism, Rights of persons restricted in liberty, Inclusive education, Rights of Foreigners, Combating Corruption etc).
In 2014, the government adopted a Policy for Combating Corruption for 2015–2017. The policy’s priority includes an efficient and independent executive operating under the 2014 Act on civil service, which is now being put into practice. An internal service regulation defines the code of conduct for civil servants. The central state authorities prepare annually internal anti-corruption programmes regulating corruption risk management and suspected corruption procedures. Transparency and open access to information are among the priorities: the Act on the Collection of Acts and the Collection of International Treaties has been enacted to ensure full electronic access to all legislation as from 2020. In addition, new rules of funding political parties and movements and their election campaigns have been adopted and the independent Oversight Office of the Economic Management of Political Parties and Movements has been established. Economical use of state property should be enhanced through a new Act on Public Procurement, Act on Registering Public Contracts and Agreements and Act on Proving Origins of Assets. The Chamber of Deputies is discussing a bill extending the powers of the Supreme Audit Office to audit territorial self-governing units, public legal entities, and business corporations with state interest, and a new bill to regulate management and control in public administration. Legal rules for nominating state representatives in companies and state enterprises and a new act on public prosecutors have not yet been adopted. The main task in the development of civil society is the legal rules on whistle-blower protection, which is currently being discussed by the Chamber of Deputies, the report says.
After elections held in October 2017, there are 121 new MPs in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies, the Lower Chamber of the Czech Parliament. Some of the legislative steps mentioned above have not been completed by the previous group of MPs or have been adopted with change proposals that have raised many discussions (e.g. amendment to the Act on Register of Contracts)..
Other steps include the regulation of use of personal data in combating crime and terrorism in order to ensure their protection and effective operations of the security forces. Psychiatric care reforms to be implemented by 2023 should lead to transforming institutional care into community care that would be locally accessible to patients and support their integration into daily life in accordance with the current human rights standards. The process of involuntary placement in a social service facility has been amended to respect clients’ rights, ensure court protection of their personal liberty and provide better monitoring of their situation. In the reported period, the government continued to increase the minimum wage to ensure dignified living in accordance with international obligations.
Concerning recent human rights issues, the Czech government has turned its attention to the topic of business and human rights and is preparing a national action plan in accordance with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This action plan should be the core document for the regulation of business activities in accordance with human rights and is expected to be approved this year. This year the Czech government has approved the Czech Republic Strategic Framework till 2030, which defines where the Czech Republic should be heading in the upcoming decades in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals. This framework is to be a document governing any activities of state administration in order to ensure a high quality of life for the population of the Czech Republic.
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