Czech Republic

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CountryCzech Republic
Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, on a Communication Procedure
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care and penal institutions.
Overview of the child rights situation

In the Czech Republic, especially Roma children are exposed to discrimination that must be abolished. There is also much to be done in the area of mental health, as suicide is the most common cause of death among young adults. The legal situation with regard to reproductive rights can be rated as good.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee welcomes the right of girls above 16 years of age to abort without the consent of a legal guardian. To further improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party implement comprehensive adolescent sex and reproductive health education at school, with a focus on the promotion of human rights, gender equality, respect and contraceptive use and the prevention of adolescent pregnancy, high-risk sexual behaviour and sexual and intimate partner violence. It also recommends to ensure that the notification of legal guardians in case of abortion is done with prior and informed consent of the girl concerned and is consistent with her right to privacy.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee recommends to adopt a national action plan for combating racism and hate crimes.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability, to set up a comprehensive strategy for the inclusion of children with disabilities and to improve the coordination and interconnection between the social, health-care and legal protection authorities charged with caring for children with disabilities and train staff to initiate appropriate care options and enable timely referrals. The Committee further urges Czechia to strengthen support for the parents of children with disabilities, to meet the demand in urban, rural and remote areas, reduce regional disparities and ensure the right of those children to grow up in their family environment, including by increasing the availability of early care, home nursing and relief services, creating a network of community and outpatient health-care services, training and ensuring an adequate number of specialist personnel, providing timely and adequate socioeconomic support to all children with disabilities, regardless of their age and type of disability, and improving outreach to parents about the services available.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee urges the State party to ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration, that children are heard in procedures related to asylum and migration and that their views are duly taken into account, establish a procedure for a best interests determination in such procedures and build the authorities’ capacity to apply it. It also urges Czechia to ensure that, in asylum and immigration matters, all those under 18 years of age are treated as children, receive the requisite special protection and are not detained. Furthermore, the Committee urges Czechia to develop a standard age-determination procedure that is used only in cases of serious doubt about the claimed age and takes into consideration documentary or other forms of evidence available and ensure access to effective appeal mechanisms. Czechia should also harmonize legislation to prohibit the placing of children in immigration detention, which is never in their best interests, and ensure non-custodial solutions, including foster care, and prioritize the immediate transfer of asylum-seeking children and their families out of detention centres.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to protect children from negative and harmful media and digital content and to decrease disinformation and fake news campaigns.
physical health

To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party evaluate the child and adolescent health strategy currently in force and formulate, with the participation of children, a subsequent strategy and an action plan with a dedicated budget and a monitoring mechanism. It further recommends to adopt legislation on the provision of school health services and ensure their coordination as well as ensure that all children, regardless of their age and nationality, have the right to have their parent or legal guardian stay with them during hospitalization and medical procedures, including by reviewing legislation, policies and programmes.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee notes that suicide is the second leading cause of mortality among those 15 to 24 years of age. Therefore, the Committee recommends that Czechia continue allocating adequate resources to prevent suicide among children and address its root causes and take advantage of the mental health care reform and the development of the mental health action plan to establish measurable and time-bound indicators and a mechanism to assess and monitor the quality of services for children, ensure respect for the rights and dignity of children in psychiatric hospitals, develop community services, including for early intervention and for the provision of continuous support to children with severe mental health problems, encourage children to seek mental health services and ensure that they can do so without stigma. Czechia should also prepare guidance for the transition from child to adult mental health services, for children requiring continuing care and collect and analyse disaggregated data on the availability of mental health services for children.

Impacts of climate change

While noting a high level of air pollution, in particular due to the carbon-intensive economy, the Committee recommends that Czechia conduct an assessment of the impact of air pollution on children’s health and regulate the maximum concentrations of air pollutant emissions, establish monitoring mechanisms and introduce deterrent sanctions for non-compliance as well as strengthen awareness-raising of environmental health and climate change among children.

Business sector

The Committee encourages the State party to meet the internationally agreed target of 0.7 per cent of its gross national income allocated for official development assistance and to prioritize children’s rights in its international cooperation agreements.
Also, the Committee recommends that Czechia establish and implement regulations to ensure that the business sector, including the tourism industry, complies with international human rights and children’s rights standards, including by reviewing the national action plan for business and human rights and relevant legislation as well as ensure the effective monitoring of such regulations and appropriately sanction and provide remedies when violations occur.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges the State party to align its child justice system fully with the Convention and other relevant standards and in particular to strengthen the prevention of crime among children, paying particular attention to girls. The Committee further urges the State Party to ensure that children under 15 years of age are not treated as offenders, benefit from high-quality, free and independent legal aid, access to their case files, evidence and the right to appeal and are never placed in closed institutions for young offenders.
The Committee also recommends to ensure that detention is used as a measure of last resort, for the shortest possible period of time and is reviewed on a regular basis and when detention is unavoidable, ensure that children in conflict with the law are not detained together with adults or with other children in institutional care.

Specific observations

The Committee urges the State party to implement targeted policy measures to address the causes of poverty and improve living conditions among Roma families and ensure that they have access to public health insurance and adequate housing support. The Committee further urges the State Party to ensure that Roma children have access to high-quality education, including preschool education, and that they remain in and complete school, develop a school desegregation plan, promote diversity in schooling, reduce the number of Roma children in special education and establish safeguards against misplacement. Czechia should also identify, investigate and effectively address all cases of exploitation, abuse and hate crime in relation to Roma children, hold accountable those responsible and intensify awareness-raising efforts to prevent such violations.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the fifth and sixth periodic reports released on 22 October 2021. More information about education in Czech Republic:

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022