Friday, May 21, 2010
FROM PRAGUE DAILY MONITOR
Helsinki committee: Extremism on rise in ČR
ČTK | 21 May 2010
Prague, May 20 (CTK)
Extremism was on the rise in the Czech Republic and the rights of imprisoned parents' children, Romanies and foreigners were violated or seriously curtailed last year, the Czech Helsinki Committee (CHV) says in its annual report released Thursday.
The position of physically and mentally disabled people and prisoners is unsatisfactory and discrimination in the educational sector continue, the CHV said at its web page.
This is the 17th annual report released by the CHV.
The state's respect for international obligations is insufficient, writes the report that this time focused not only on political and civic, but also social rights.
There is a problematic approach to justice for the poor, the report said.
There is no law on the provision of legal aid. Although an anti-discrimination law was passed, many people are reluctant to stand up for their rights. This may relate to up to one-fourth of Czechs, the report said.
This benefits the perpetrators who apply their criminal practices to next victims, it added.
Xenophobia and intolerance was on the rise and unacceptable statements by public representatives are signs of institutional racism. Extremism was growing in the Czech Republic, the report said.
Neo-Nazis in particular radicalised themselves. The arson attack on a Romani family in Vitkov, north Moravia, was a symbol of extremism. However, there were similar acts as well but without the tragic consequences, the CHV writes about the incident in which four youths threw a Molotov cocktail into a Romani house, having injured a two-year-old girl. Nevertheless, they were only qualified as breach of the peace, not as attempted murder, the CHV writes.
The position of foreigners worsened due to the recession. In many cases, their employment went beyond state control.
Attempts at a bigger number of checks of the foreigners' employers foundered. Trafficking in cheap manpower can be called modern slavery, the report said.
Last year, not a single agency fraudulently employing foreigners was stripped of its licence, it added.
The migrants who have not used the programme of voluntary returns and stayed in the Czech Republic often do not know their rights. They only exact them with difficulties. This mainly relates to unskilled workers from Vietnam and Mongolia. The system of green cards has proved almost ineffectual, the report said.
The efforts to integrate foreigners into majority society are only formal and there is no desirable concept, it added.
The rights of foreigners' children, disabled children and Romani children to equal approach to education are violated, the report said.
Romani children are systematically placed in the schools for children with minor mental disorder. A disproportionately high number of children live in institutes. Help to the young people the institutional care is insufficient, it added.
Moreover, the Czech Republic lacks a law on social housing. Any, even "unuseful" person has the right to dignity and basic needs, the report said. Czech prisons are 130-percent overcrowded.
Children of some prisoners do not have ensured contact with their parents, the report said.
People with mental disorder are too often placed under restraint, the report said.
Attacks due to hatred or sexual orientation are almost ignored in the Czech Republic. It is an aggravating circumstance, but the perpetrator is not liable to a stiffer punishment as in the case of a racially motivated attack, the report said.
The law on registered partnership prevents homosexual couples from adopting children, although an individual who does not live in such a couple can adopt a child if he/she fulfils the conditions, it added.
Posted by Morgan at 3:42 PM