The Office of the Public Defender of Rights has launched a four-year plan focused on human rights protection. The plan will allow the Ombudsman to focus even more strongly on particularly vulnerable groups, such as children, people with disabilities and people whose freedom has been restricted.
The plan to Expand the Human Rights Activities of the Public Defender of Rights was launched on 1 December 2019 and will continue until 31 December 2023. The Plan is part of Human Rights Programme financed from the 2014-2021 Norway grants through the Czech Ministry of Finance. As part of implementation of the plan, the Ombudsman will conduct research and issue recommendations concerning the protection of the rights of children, persons with disabilities and institutionalised persons and will also develop new methods of work to ensure more effective protection of human rights.
For example, a handbook will be prepared for follow-up visits to facilities detaining persons subject to restricted personal freedom. The aim of these visits is to verify whether and how the facility complies with the ombudsman’s recommendations. The handbook will address the scope and focus of the visits, i.e. for example deciding whether the follow-up visit should focus only on verifying recommendations, or whether it should also respond to new findings, etc. It will also focus on the methodology of evaluating compliance with the recommendations.
At least two recommendations per year will concern protection of children’s rights, where many systemic issues persist that could not have been addressed so far due to lacking resources. This includes, for example, an analysis of how many children from foster care end up in institutional care, and why. Another task will be to draw up materials comprehensible to children, concerning their rights and solution of life situations they might encounter.
Research activities will focus, for example, on portrayal of people with disabilities in the media. The objective will be to educate the media on how people with disabilities should be portrayed in order to respect their dignity and avoid further strengthening of the existing stereotypes.
The plan will also include several seminars and workshops for staff members of the relevant facilities, social workers and non-governmental organisations.
Source: Office of the Public Defender of Rights, Czech Republic