United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child Reviews Czech Republic

On January 31, 2003, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued its Concluding Observations on Czech Republic, following its 32nd session. In the Concluding Observations, the Committee remarked:

"6. The Committee regrets that some of its recommendations in the previous concluding observations (CRC/C/15/Add.81) have been insufficiently addressed, inter alia the reservation to article 7 para 1 of the Convention (ibid., para 26); development of a comprehensive policy on children (ibid.,para 27); development of awareness raising campaigns aimed at reducing discriminatory practices against the Roma population (ibid, para. 32); [...]

28. The Committee welcomes the Method Instruction of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on education against expressions of racism, xenophobia and intolerance. The Committee also notes the numerous initiatives of the State party to counter discrimination in education, in particular against children belonging to the Roma minority, including adoption of legislation to counter discrimination in employment (Act. No. 167/1999 Coll.). However, the Committee is concerned that the provisions of article 2 are not yet integrated in all relevant legislation and thus not sufficiently implemented. The Committee reiterates also the concerns expressed by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/1/Add.76 para.12; 23, 17 May 2002) and the Human Rights Committee (CCPR/CO/72/CZE para.8-11, 27 August 2001) and remains concerned at the persistence of de facto discrimination against minorities, in particular the Roma and other vulnerable groups.

29. The Committee recommends that the State party continue and strengthen its legislative efforts to fully integrate the right to non-discrimination (article 2 of the Convention) in all relevant legislation concerning children and that this right is effectively applied in all political, judicial and administrative decisions and in projects, programmes and services which have an impact on all children, including non-citizen children and children belonging to minority groups, such as the Roma. The Committee further recommends the State party to continue to carry out comprehensive public education campaigns and undertake all necessary proactive measures to prevent and combat negative societal attitudes. [...]

39. [?] the Committee is concerned by ill-treatment and abuse committed against children in the family, in schools and other institutions as well as by public officials in the streets and in places of deprivation of liberty, particularly in the context of a form of popular justice for an alleged crime such as theft. The Committee is further concerned that certain groups of children, such as Roma, are specifically targeted; and that a very small portion of reported cases of suspicion of abuse and neglect are investigated. [...]

41. The Committee recommends that the State party take action to address ill-treatment and abuse committed against children in the family, in schools, in the streets, in institutions and in places of detention through, inter-alia: [?] e) implementing training programs to promote respect for children belonging to minority groups, in particular Roma children, and by monitoring the treatment of children in both basic and special schools in order to ensure the protection of the physical and psychological integrity of all children while in the care of school officials;

54. [?] the Committee is concerned that the implementation of the reform of the education system remains insufficient and that in-service teacher training in this respect is lacking. The Committee is further concerned that Roma children continue to be over-represented in so-called "special schools" [...]

55. Noting the State party's efforts in this domain, the Committee recommends that the State party: a) ensure the availability and accessibility of free primary education for all children in the State party, giving particular attention to children in rural communities, children from Roma and other minorities, as well as children from disadvantaged backgrounds such as refugees, illegal migrants particularly unaccompanied minors, to good quality education, including in their own language; b) continue to strengthen its efforts to professionalise the pre-school assessment of children and avoid as much as possible that children of Roma origin or other children belonging to disadvantaged groups are not assigned to special schools; [?]

79. In accordance with article 2, the Committee recommends that the State party: a) initiate campaigns at all levels and in all regions aimed at addressing negative attitudes towards Roma in society-at-large, and in particular among authorities such as the police, and professionals providing health care, education and other social services; b) based on the evaluation of previous strategies, develop and implement a comprehensive proactive strategy for the improvement of access to primary health care, education and social welfare services, in cooperation with Roma NGO partners, and targeting the whole Roma child population; c) develop curriculum resources for all schools, including in relation to Roma history and culture, in order to promote understanding, tolerance and respect of Roma in Czech society."

The complete text of the are available on the Internet at: Committee's Concluding Observations on Czech Republic .

(ERRC)

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