Annual Report: Czech Republic 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Czech Republic 2010

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Head of state Václav Klaus
Head of government Jan Fischer (replaced Mirek Topolánek in May)
Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes
Population 10.4 million
Life expectancy 76.4 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 5/4 per 1,000

Parliament passed anti-discrimination legislation blocked for several years by presidential opposition. Anti-Roma hate speech and marches by far-right parties and groups increased. Roma continued to be segregated in education and housing. Although the government apologized for the forced sterilization of Romani women in the past, individual complainants were refused compensation by the courts.

In March the government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek lost a vote of no confidence and was replaced in May by an interim government led by Jan Fischer.

Parliament adopted anti-discrimination legislation in June, overturning a veto by President Klaus and fulfilling obligations under the EU Race and Employment Equality Directives after several years' delay. The new law guaranteed the right to equal treatment and banned discrimination in areas including education, employment and housing.

Discrimination – Roma

Roma faced increasingly overt public hostility, as well as segregation in schools and housing and discrimination in employment.

Attacks on Roma

In March the Supreme Administrative Court, citing insufficient evidence, rejected a government proposal to dissolve the far-right Workers' Party, which organized vigilante patrols targeting Roma.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) expressed concern in a report in September at mounting anti-Roma hate speech in public discourse and at repeated demonstrations by extreme right-wing groups. It recommended vigorous implementation of laws prohibiting racist violence and incitement to hatred.