Over half of LGBTQ+ people in Czechia said they experience public hate

Government officials met with representatives of the LGBTQ+ community this week to discuss the need for stronger laws against hate crimes.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 17.02.2023 11:27:00 (updated on 17.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech government officials met with representatives of Prague Pride and other NGOs yesterday to discuss the urgent need to improve laws to protect the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities from hate crimes.

Similar protection already applies to victims of crimes motivated by prejudice against race, ethnicity, nationality, and political or religious beliefs.

The one-day conference Together Against Hate: Focused on Victims of Prejudicial Violence was organized by Prague Pride, In Iustitia, the National Institute of Mental Health (NUDZ), and Queer Geography, in cooperation with the Czech Interior Ministry and Government Commissioner for Human Rights Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková. Representatives of the Interior Ministry, Czech Police, and other governmental agencies, met with members of NGOs.

Pundits call for proper investigations of hate crimes

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said the ministry is trying to take concrete steps such as making the statistical reporting of hate crimes more precise. A project to change how crime statistics are compiled was approved this week by the government, he added.

Human Rights Commissioner Šimáčková Laurenčíková said every attack motivated by hatred based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability must be properly investigated and its perpetrators adequately punished. “Otherwise, we as a society are at risk that such hatred will remain unnoticed and unpunished, which would be contrary to the protection of human rights in the rule of law," she said.

The opening of the conference was dedicated to the memory of two murder victims in Bratislava. The attacker was motivated by a culture of hatred toward differences and minorities fueled by the statements of public figures, including politicians, the conference organizers said.

Many EU states already have legislative protection for LGBTQ+ people

A 2022 study cited by representatives of NUDZ showed that 52 percent of LGBTQ+ people said expressions of hatred and aversion toward them in public were widespread, which was 12 percent more than in 2018. Offensive statements by political representatives are considered widespread by 71 percent of people, up from 43 percent in 2018. The study also identified social networks and the internet as major problems in terms of spreading violence.

Organizers pointed out that the changes they are calling for are not radical. In the European Union, 19 member states protect against attacks motivated by prejudice on the grounds of sexual orientation, 17 on grounds of sex or gender or gender identity, 13 on grounds of disability, and 10 on grounds of age.  

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