Czech Republic (2nd cycle)
For a summary of the Czech Republic’s review at the first cycle please click here.
14th UPR session
Date of review: 22 October 2012
Date of report adoption: March 2013
Working Group report: A/HRC/22/–
Recommendations: Take necessary measures aimed at eliminating all discriminatory treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; Work towards the equal status of same sex couples starting with legal recognition of same sex couples.
Status: Pending to HRC22 (March 2013)
I. Key issues/recommendations identified by NGOs
- adopt comprehensive measures to address hate crimes;
- review adoption policies;
- remove forced/coerced sterilisation as a prerequisite to gender recognition.
II. Excerpts from input reports
III. Implementation of the recommendations made during the first review
C. Anti-discrimination legislation (recommendations nos. 4, 6, 9, 20 and 30)
29. Anti-discrimination legislation is based on the constitutional principles of equality in dignity and rights, and on the prohibition of discrimination on illegitimate grounds. The Anti-Discrimination Act effective since 2009 defines the right to equal treatment and protection against discrimination. In accordance with EU law, it prohibits discrimination on the following grounds:
- ethnic origin;
- sexual orientation;
- religion, belief or world view.
In the following areas:
- right to employment and access to employment or independent gainful activity;
- employment or alternative employment arrangement, including remuneration;
- social security and social benefits and facilities;
- health care;
- education, and
- access to goods and services available to the public, including housing.
J. Using the Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (recommendation no. 14)
52. The Czech Republic is committed to supporting all minorities living in its territory, including sexual minorities. The Committee for Sexual Minorities set up within the Government Council for Human Rights in 2009 uses the Yogyakarta Principles as a guidance document for its work. The seats on the Committee are divided between government authorities and civil society representatives. The Committee analyzes the situation and rights of sexual minorities in the Czech Republic and, like the Council’s other committees, may present to the Council proposals concerning legislative amendments, changes to the procedures followed by government authorities, and solutions to other problems facing sexual minorities. For example, the Committee helped create a handbook on “Homophobia in the Classroom” and recommendations for the media how to treat and present to the public different sexual identities.
Compilation of UN information
I. Background and framework
B. Constitutional and legislative framework
5. CEDAW welcomed the adoption and implementation of the Anti-Discrimination Act prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sex and sexual orientation, as also welcomed by UNHCR.
III. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law
A. Equality and non-discrimination
17. CEDAW reiterated its recommendation to address persistent and deep-rooted gender stereotypes that perpetuated discrimination against women.
Summary of stakeholders’ information
I. Information provided by other accredited national human rights institutions and other stakeholders
A. Background and framework
2. Constitutional and legislative framework
4. Joint Submission 3 (JS3) noted that the Criminal Code defined specific bias- motivated acts as separate offences and it contained provisions by which racist or other bias motivations can be considered as a specific aggravating circumstance in the commission of certain offences. However, according to JS3, this general aggravating circumstance is considered against extenuating circumstances, and has little impact on the final sentencing. Joint Submission 4 (JS4) also noted a similar concern particularly regarding crimes motivated by hate towards a real or said sexual orientation of the victim.
B. Cooperation with human rights mechanisms
C. Implementation of international human rights obligations
2. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
21. Referring to a recommendation of the first cycle UPR, JS2 noted that there had been increasing numbers of violent attacks and regular anti-Roma marches organized by a reinvigorated Neo-Nazi movement in the Czech Republic. JS3 also noted that bias- motivated violence and harassments were a serious problem particularly having devastating effects on Roma communities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons, the Jewish community, and other vulnerable minorities.
22. With respect to hate crime in the Czech Republic, JS3 recommended, among others: that senior government officials should speak out against hate crime incidents and ensure that there is a rapid response of the law enforcement and the criminal justice authorities; the Government should seek to establish guidelines and best practices for public officials at all levels to prevent statements that incite violence or promote acts that would curtail the enjoyment of rights by others; the Ministry of Interior improve efforts to collect comprehensive disaggregated data on hate crime attacks; the authorities ensure thorough investigations and prosecution of any reports of police misconduct or abuse; the law enforcement agencies be trained in cultural sensitivity and their approach should avoid and repeat victimization; and the Ministry of Justice authorities train prosecutors and judges on recognizing and prosecuting bias-motivated offences to ensure the systematic use of penalty enhancement provisions in appropriate cases.
26. […] JS4 also stated that the condition of sterilization before the official change of gender was the only case of forced sterilization required in Czech law at present.
4. Right to privacy, marriage and family life
33. JS4 noted that under the 2006 Law on Registered Partnership, registered partners of the same-sex were not entitled to adopting children, not even the biological child of the other partner. JS4 further noted that the 2012 new Civil Code to come into effect on 1 January 2014 had omitted the institution of registered partnership, as a result of which registered partners are not eligible for consideration as family.
34. JS4 also noted that a new Law on International Private Law along with the Civil Code would not recognize adoption performed abroad by Czech same-sex couples, which would lead to a legal vacuum regarding the legal status of the adopted child.
III. References to SOGI during the Working Group review
I. Summary of the proceedings of the review process
B. Interactive dialogue and responses by the State under review
57. The Czech Republic acknowledged the importance of equality and antidiscrimination. The most important legal regulation was the Anti-discrimination Act, adopted in 2009, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability and religion in the areas of employment, social security and social benefits, health care, education and access to goods and services. The victim can claim damages in courts and can be represented by specialised NGOs. Equal treatment was also controlled by public authorities who can impose monetary fines on discriminating subjects. They kept records on cases of discrimination and formulated their plans of work accordingly to focus on the most important areas. The national authority for the fight against discrimination was the Ombudsman, whose task is to help enforce the right to equal treatment, assist discrimination victims, conduct research, publish reports and recommendations on discrimination issues and disseminate information.
88. The Czech Republic fully recognized the right of individuals to control and decide on matters of their own sexuality and reproductive health. The Ombudsman reported however, in 2006, that there had been individual cases in which the procedure prescribed by law was not followed properly. In 2009, the Government officially expressed its regret for past sterilizations performed contrary to the legal regulation, and it committed to adopt measures to prevent their reoccurrence. New legislation, in effect since 2012, reinforced the guarantees of patients’ rights with respect to free and informed consent. It stated that the Government was presently considering a proposal to establish a non-judicial mechanism which could complement the existing judicial means by providing a possibility to award compensation ex gratia. A new complex set of rules which should facilitate access to legal aid was also being considered.
IV. Conclusions and/or recommendations
94. The following recommendations will be examined by the Czech Republic which will provide responses in due time, but no later than the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council in March 2013. The response of the Czech Republic to these recommendations will be included in the outcome report adopted by the Human Rights Council at its 22nd session in March 2013:
94.74. Take necessary measures aimed at eliminating all discriminatory treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (Argentina);
94.75. Work towards the equal status of same sex couples starting with legal recognition of same sex couples (Netherlands);
V. Adoption of the Report
The report of the UPR working group is due to be adopted by the Human Rights Council at its 22nd regular session in March 2013.
VI. Further information
For first cycle reports of Czech Republic, please see here
National report 1: A | C | E | F | R | S
Compilation of UN information2: A | C | E | F | R | S
Corrigendum: A | C | E | F | R | S
Summary of stakeholders’ information 3: A | C | E | F | R | S
Questions submitted in advance : E
Addendum 1 : E
Addendum 2 : E
Draft report of the Working group : E