Annual Report: Czech Republic 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Czech Republic 2010

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  • Z§v?le Práva, a Czech NGO that provides legal advice to Roma, brought cases against local authorities: in July alleging ethnic segregation of Roma in housing in Kladno, and in August alleging discrimination against Roma in accessing permanent residence status in the city of Ostrava.

Enforced sterilization of Romani women

There was some movement towards acknowledging responsibility for enforced sterilizations carried out in the past. In November the Prime Minister expressed regret over the illegal sterilizations, and asked the Minister of Health to report on the implementation of existing regulations that prohibited them. According to the Group of Women Harmed by Forced Sterilization, a Czech NGO, at least 100 women may have been sterilized against their will. Although most forced sterilizations were carried out in the 1970s and 1980s, the most recent reportedly occurred in 2007.

  • In October the Constitutional Court dismissed a claim for financial compensation from a Romani woman who had been illegally sterilized, on the grounds that her legal action was beyond the time limit for such claims. She had received an apology from a hospital in Vitkovice after the Regional Court in Ostrava decided in 2005 that the doctors acted illegally then they carried out the sterilization without her informed consent. The Minister for Human Rights subsequently announced that the state was nevertheless obliged to take a position that reflected the non-reversible impact of sterilization on women's lives.

Torture and other ill-treatment

In March the National Defender of Rights (Ombudsperson) reported that some psychiatric institutions continued to use restraint beds even where there was no risk to the patients or their environment. Restraint beds were in some cases included in the inventory of institutions. In September, the Ministry of Health issued a methodological guide to regulate the use of restraint techniques, including net-beds. In 2004 the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture had recommended the immediate withdrawal from service of cage-beds and the removal as soon as possible of net-beds as means for managing patients or residents in a state of agitation.

Amnesty International visits/report

Amnesty International delegates visited the Czech Republic in February and April.

Injustice renamed: Discrimination in education of Roma persists in Czech Republic (31 December 2009)