Amnesty International: Czechia still discriminates against Ukrainians, LGBTQ+ people, Roma

An annual report also condemned the country's incidence rate of gender-based violence as well as irresponsible arms transfers to Asian countries. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.04.2024 10:27:00 (updated on 24.04.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Human rights non-governmental organization Amnesty International (AI) has released its annual report on human rights in the Czech Republic, criticizing the country for hate speech and discrimination against Ukrainian refugees, gender-based violence, continuing segregation of Roma children in education, and the irresponsible export of weapons to countries with a history of human rights violations. 

The report, released Tuesday, also highlights ongoing issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, such as the continued lack of rights given to same-sex couples. 

Mistreating Ukrainians, sidelining Roma

According to AI, hate speech and discrimination against Ukrainian refugees – around 350,000 of which have remained in Czechia – have become increasingly prevalent in the country, with incidents of violence and harassment reported. The report notes that these refugees face obstacles to integration, such as language barriers in schools, and are often limited to low-paying and low-skilled jobs.

The report also highlights the continuing segregation of Roma children in education, with little done to address the issue. AI notes that while the Education Ministry introduced measures to improve the situation earlier this year, there is still a long way to go in achieving equality for Roma children in the Czech Republic.

Not enough rights for LGBTQ+ community

In addition, the report criticizes the country for its treatment of sexual minorities, noting that rights for these groups have not improved in recent years. Czech lawmakers rejected an amendment on marriage for all couples this year, and transgender individuals still require sterilization in order to change their gender legally.

The Czech Republic's outdated law on access to abortion is also called into question by AI, with the report stating that many medical facilities refuse to provide abortions to non-EU citizens based on incorrect information from the Czech Medical Chamber. This, the report says, adds to the difficulties faced by women seeking access to reproductive healthcare in the country.

Shady military exports, lack of 'green' action

Furthermore, AI voices concern over the country's export of arms to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, citing the risk of these weapons being used to commit human rights violations. The report calls on the Czech government to take responsibility for its actions and consider the potential consequences of these exports.

Lastly, the report highlights the Czech Republic's lack of action in addressing climate change. While the government has committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, no laws with specific climate targets have been adopted. AI urges the country to immediately combat climate change's effects.

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