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Czech Helsinki Committee 2014 Czech Helsinki Committee Mission: to foster and protect Human Rights (HR), which are the key values of every.

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Presentation on theme: "Czech Helsinki Committee 2014 Czech Helsinki Committee Mission: to foster and protect Human Rights (HR), which are the key values of every."— Presentation transcript:

1 Czech Helsinki Committee 2014

2 Czech Helsinki Committee Mission: to foster and protect Human Rights (HR), which are the key values of every society. CHC activities are oriented towards the development and strengthening of civil society, democracy, and social development. CHC is focused on problems concerning equal opportunities, social excluscion, discrimination, racism, hate speech, etc. We are helping all vulnerable groups, particularly children, seniors, persons with disabilities and excluded populations (prisoners, Roma, etc.).

3 Historical Summary The Czech Helsinki Committee (CHV), originally The Czechoslovak Helsinki Committee (CsHV) was founded in May 1990 to follow activity that started in the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1988. The initiative originated from the International Helsinki Federation and was implemented by a group of 30 critical thinking civil leaders (headed by Professor Jiří Hájek and Václav Havel). In fact, the history of CHV is directly linked to Charter 77 and the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS). These oppositional-minded leaders published their opposition to the legislative, legal, and political practices that went against the internationally accepted human right agreement that Czechosolvakia signed in 1976.

4 Historical Summary When the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic split in 1992 into two independent states, the Czechoslovak Helsinki Committee also split into the Czech Helsinki Committee and the Slovak Helsinki Committee. The Czech Helsinki Committee and Slovak Helsinki Committee remained members of the International Helsinki Federation until it the IHF dissolved in 2007.

5 CHC Activities & Projects Since 1988 The Czech Helsinki Committee has published an annual report on the status of human rights in the Czech Republic. We monitor laws and policies, and participate in expert groups to prepare new legislation. We make public statements and draft letters to institutions (e.g. case of Radio Free Europe). We defend individual cases where there are serious infringements of human rights. We run a consulting centre (>3000 requests a year); formerly we had a center for refugees and a center for civil rights – they are now independent organisations. We are engaged in educational activites on human rights—lectures, seminars, round tables, media campaigns, etc. (e.g. rights for school children, guardianship of disabled persons, and rights of prisoners).

6 The number of prisoners in the Czech Republic is one of the highest in the EU (16,000 in 2014). Imprisonment of persons with children affects many aspects of their lives and their families. From the beginning of their parent´s imprisonment, the children are subjected to traumatic events and issues, which in turn can affect their personal development. The aim of this project: to support children/family members to maintain contact with the parent (mother or father in prison) and not to be affected or traumatized during visits CHC provides: 1.Selection of the clients 2.Individual consultation 3.Incorporation of selected children into the program 4.Assisted visits 5.Skype call visits/new pilot project Example 1—National Project: Children of Prisoners

7 Drafted a proposal for compensation to illegally sterilized women. In early 2014, CHC sent the proposal to all Czech ministries. CHC is searching for all the men and women who were illegally sterilized between the years 1966 – 2012. The Director of CHC participates in the newly established working group that is preparing the legislative proposal on compensation for the illegally sterilized people. The plan is to provide the government with a proposal by the end of 2014. Project goal: compensation and support provided by the Czech government the victims of illegal sterilization. Example 2—National Project: Victims of Illegal Sterilization

8 The International Activities of the Czech Helsinki Committee The Czech Helsinki Committee is participating in several international projects (e.g. Roma rights, rights of children). This is done in co-operation with French Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (LDH)—Roma rights, and with Coram Children's Legal Centre in the UK— children's rights.

9 Example 3—European Project: “Roma persons have rights – INSEROM: for effective exercise of fundamental rights” This project pursues two objectives: to empower Roma people by making them knowledgeable about their rights and fighting the discrimination they are facing, and to foster greater knowledge about intervention toward Roma communities. To achieve these objectives a toolkit has been created and was presented at the conference in June 2014 in Brussels. The toolkit is composed of two parts: a Reference Book stating the rights of Roma people in the countries of the partnership and at the EU level, as well as a Trainer’s Guide addressed to trainers and volunteers working on the field. This project is coordinated by the French Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (LDH) and brings together several partners such as the European Association for the Defense of Human Rights (AEDH), the Asociación Pro-Derechos Humanos de Andalucía (APDHA, Spain), the Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure in Scotland (BEMIS, UK) and the Czech Helsinki Committee (CHC, Czech Republic). For more information on the project, have a look at the INSEROM website:

10 Networking Activities Co-operation on the international level - CHC Memberships: –The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights (AEDH) –The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) –Children of Prisoners Europe (COPE) –The International Network Against CyberHate (INACH)

11 Networking Activities National Level Czech Women‘s Lobby Romea Counselling Center for citizens Counselling Center for citizenship, civil and human rights Counselling Center for foreigners League of Human Rights

12 Consulting center CHC Our clients? People whose human rights have been violated. People who are discriminated for all the reasons. (disability, age, sex, race, creed, sexual orient., etc.). People limited on freedom (prisoners, in facilities, etc..). People at risk of social exclusion and emergency. How? Individual socio-legal counseling, legal assistance, guided mediation, intermediation of contacts to institutions, etc.. When? Monday – Thursday (9Am – 4Pm) in person against prior appointment, otherwise in writing or by telephone.

13 We are co-operating with: Other Human Rights bodies on the national level: Governmental council for HR Ombusdperson HR bodies on international level: CPT—European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment CAT—UN Committee Against Torture

14 Act to make fundamental rights accepted as universal, indivisible and effective for all residents of the European Union. Advocate a democratic Europe in which the citizens have real power. Perform actions to promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to influence European institutions For more information: AEDH – The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights

15 Th only pan-European anti-racist network. Set up in 1998 by grassroots activists. A strong and dynamic network of over 160 NGOs working to combat racism everywhere in Europe. For more information: ENAR – The European Network Against Racism

16 European-wide initiative on behalf of children with an imprisoned parent. Vision: Every child be guaranteed fair, unbiased, treatment, protection of his/her rights, and equal opportunities regardless of social, economic or cultural heritage. For more information: COPE – Childern of Prisoners Europe

17 Promote respect, responsibility and citizenship on the Internet through countering cyber hate and rasing awareness about online discrimination. Reinforcing Human Rights and mutual respect for the rights and reputation of all Internet users. For more information: INACH – The International Network Against Cyber Hate

18 Czech Women‘s Lobby is a network of non-profit organizations promoting women‘s rights in the Czech Republic. Main aims and priorities: –Cooperation, networking and laying down common points of view and positions of Czech women‘s and gender NGOs. –Monitoring in the field of gender equality. –Opening important public discussions. –For more information: Czech Women‘s Lobby

19 Contact details: Address: Štefánikova 21 150 00 Praha 5 Czech Republic E-mail:; (director) Phone number: (+420) 777 220 503 Website: Facebook: Český helsinský výbor - Czech Helsinki Committee Twitter:

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