Czech Republic

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Persistent violations
  • The segregation of Roma children from mainstream education[1]
  • The detention of illegal immigrants under-18[2]
  • Trafficking of women and girls for sexual and economic exploitation[3]

For full details, go here

  1. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination,Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Universal Periodic Review, European Court of Human Rights
  2. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee against Torture
  3. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Universal Periodic Review


The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in central Europe. Since emerging from 40 years of Communist rule in 1990, the State has flourished into a developed economy, stable democracy and in 2004, joined the European Union. Perhaps the issue most raised with regards to children’s rights in the country is the ongoing discrimination against Roma children, particularly with regards to education.


The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Slovakia to the East and Austria to the South. The capital city is Prague.

Population and Language

Since the 1980s, the population has been relatively stable at just under 10.5 million with an average annual increase of less than half a per cent over the past decade. Estimates have indicated that this trend will continue to 2020[1]. According to the 2001 census, over 90 per cent of the population are Czech (including Moravians and Silesians), with the remaining 10 per cent made up of Slovaks, Poles, Germans and Ukrainians as well as a wide range of smaller ethnic minority communities[2].

Czech is the nation's official language, and is spoken by the vast majority of the population.

History and Politics

Since 1992, the political system has taken the form of a bicameral Parliament combined with an executive led by the President, though the Prime Minister is the most powerful political figure.[3] May 2010 saw the formation of a centre-right coalition under the leadership of Petr Necas, following a campaign that focused on budget cuts, pension and health reforms and fighting corruption. The Presidency is currently held by Václac Klaus, a former Prime Minister of the the Civic Democratic Party, the largest centre right party in the Czech Republic. A prominent euro-sceptic, the President held up the signing of the Lisbon treaty making the Czech Republic the final country to agree the terms of the treaty in 2009.[4]


The Czech Republic is among the most stable and economically prosperous post-communist states, with particularly strong growth following its accession to the EU. Although the 2008/09 downturn had a negative impact on export markets, the financial sector remained strong, and economic recovery began in 2010. The vast majority of Czech trade is within the EU, with EU member states accounting for over 85 per cent of its exports and nearly 70 per cent of its imports. Although a member of the EU, the Czech crown remains the national currency, and no date has been fixed for entry into the Euro, though it is a matter of ongoing debate.[5]

Media and Civil Society

Almost 60 per cent of Czech citizens are involved in some form of civic activity, and civil service organisations covering a full range of activities, from trade unions, to social care.[6] Civil society's monitoring of human rights takes place in particular through NGO involvement in the committees of the Government Council for Human Rights.[7]

The Czech Republic ranked 23 out of 178 in Reporters Without Borders 2010 Press Freedom Index.[8]

Human Rights and Children's Rights

A great deal of progress has been made with regards to human rights in the Czech Republic since the fall of the Soviet Union. As a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, the State is bound by decisions of European Court of Human Rights, which has helped to develop national law in accordance with rights. Social exclusion among the Roma community remains a pressing social problem, however, with incredibly high levels of unemployment, and de facto exclusion from a full range of social services.[9]


  1. UN DESA (2009d). “World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision”. New York: Department for Economic and Social Affairs
  2. Website of the Czech Statistical Office
  3. Hauser Global Law School Program, GlobaLex, An Introduction to the Czech Legal System and Legal Resources Online
  4. The Telegraph, "Lisbon Treaty: Czech president Vaclav Klaus sets new condition", 8 October 2009
  5. FCO Country Profiles: Czech Republic
  6. CIVICUS CSI Country Report Czech Republic
  7. Supra.6
  8. Reporters Without Borders, "Press Freedom Index 2010"
  9. UN Universal Periodic Review: Czech Republic, April 2008


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