Monday, 22. October 2012, Geneva.
Norway appreciates the presentation of the Czech Republic’s national report demonstrating the Czech Republic’s strong dedication to the UPR process.
We recognize the Czech commitment to reduce discrimination and promote equality, such as the adoption of the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2009. Norway supports the work of the Agency for Social Inclusion to counter discrimination and promote inclusion of the Roma minority. The Agency needs full support, financial as well as political, from all central, regional and local authorities in its endeavors to improve the conditions of life in socially excluded Roma neighborhoods. However, Norway remains concerned about the access to justice for victims of discrimination.
- We recommend that the Czech Republic allows NGOs and other actors to bring discrimination cases to court, in order to secure increased access to justice for victims of discrimination.
The Czech Republic has introduced important measures to reduce the discrimination of Roma students in school education, such as providing for pre-school education for socially disadvantaged children, as well as measures provided through the Inclusive Education Support Center. However, the proportion of Roma students attending so-called practical schools persists. As equal access to education is one of the most important measures to promote inclusion of minorities;
- We recommend that appropriate steps be taken to ensure inclusive education in Czech schools. The Czech Ombudsman, in his report from May 2012, have put down clear guidelines on what measures should be taken in this regard.
Finally, Norway welcomes the new Criminal Code to take effect in January 2014, and the adoption of the legislation on criminal liability and punishment for legal entities for certain crimes, which will enable the Czech Republic to ratify relevant international conventions in the fight against organized crime, human trafficking and protection of victims.
I thank you, Madame President.
1. The Czech Ombudsman’s office recently issued a report regarding inclusive education (“Survey of the Public defender of Rights into the Ethnic Composition of Pupils of Former Special Schools”) with recommendations both to the Czech Government and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. What is the status with regard to the Report’s recommendations, and what follow-up is envisaged?
2. Could you please elaborate on the status of the National Plan of Action for Inclusive Education, NAIPE? How will the follow-up of the plan be financed?
3. An increasing wave of racially motivated manifestations, including demonstrations, marches and rallies organized by ethnic Czechs against Roma, have reportedly taken place in recent time. Some of these manifestations have turned violent, in particular in the Sluknov area. Media coverage of issues related to the Roma minority, and comments by politicianshas reportedly had a racist or xenophobic tone. What measures are planned or have been taken by the Czech authorities in order to reduce tensions between the majority population and the Roma population?
4. Could you please elaborate on the status of the law providing for alternative child care (vetoed by President Klaus in September 2012) and the National Strategy for the Protection of the Rights of the Child?
5. The National Reportdescribes measures to be taken in order to ensure the protection of children’s rights and their needs in a natural or foster family setting (ref. para 40 to 43). What actions are planned to secure the effectiveness of these measures? Will the number of children in institutional versus foster family care be monitored? How will the necessary help be provided to the children and their families?