Non-governmental organizations are warning the United Nations that the Czech Government has decided not to compensate women who have been sterilized without their informed consent and that the state of midwifery and obstetrics in the country remains unsatisfactory.
In November 2017 the Czech Republic will undergo a review of how it protects and secures human rights as part of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which takes place every four years. The Czech Women’s Lobby, in collaboration with other organizations, has sent the UN its comments on the still-unresolved question of compensation for women sterilized without their informed consent and has also described deficiencies in the provision of care to women during pregnancy, delivery and the first six weeks post-parturition with an emphasis on the fact that women are not allowed to freely choose where and how they will give birth.
The UPR is a specifc mechanism consisting of dialogue among the member states of the United Nations and an assessment of how human rights are upheld in each state. The outcome of the process is a set of particular recommendations to improve the promotion and protection of human rights in each state. The member states are all equal during the review and are able to freely ask questions, comment on the facts, and share their recommendations. This year marks the third time the Czech Republic will be a subject of the review. In October 2012 the Czech Republic received a total of 136 recommendations, of which the Government accepted a total of 129 and pledged to take steps to fulfill them. The Government must now, by August, send the UN its own national report about how it has fulfilled those recommendations. Non-governmental, non-profit organizations were able to send their own standpoints on the degree to which the Government has fulfilled the previous recommendations by 30 March of this year.
One of the recommendations that the Czech Government received last time – and then also pledged to fulfill – was that of compensating women who have been illegally sterilized. That recommendation has not been fulfilled: In October 2015 the Government rejected a draft law on compensation that was submitted by the then-Human Rights Minister.
Other previous UPR recommendations to the Czech Republic concerned arranging for women to be able to freely choose how and where they will give birth. That recommendation has not been reflected upon by the Government in the interim. For that reason, we are once again reminding the UN that it is not allowed in the Czech Republic for women to give birth with a midwife, that the existence of birthing facilities that are not hospitals is not allowed, and that unnecessary obstacles exist for women who want to give birth in their own homes. We have also warned that doctors are not acquiring women’s informed consent to various medical procedures, that harmful practices such as routine episiotomies are in use, that the process of childbirth is excessively medicalized, that mothers are separated from their newborns in hospitals, and that there is an absence of data about the care being provided in health care facilities, as well as an absence of quality control.
The provision of obstetric care continues to contravene recommendations of the World Health Organization and the state disclaims its responsibility for that fact.
Organizations defending the rights of women, such as the Czech Women’s Lobby, the Czech Helsinki Committee, and the League of Human Rights send their standpoint last week to the UN referring to the fact that those who have been harmed by being sterilized without their informed consent have not yet been compensated by the Czech Government, which means the state has failed to fulfill its pledge. The Czech Republic has also not taken any of the necessary measures that would lead to expanding birthing mothers’ options for delivery or improving the quality of obstetric care.
Contact persons for the media:
- Jana Smiggels Kavková, předsedkyně České ženské lobby, , tel. +420 608 553 825 (www.czlobby.cz)
- Mgr. Lucie Rybová, ředitelka Českého helsinského výboru, , tel.: + 420 602 646 640 (www.helcom.cz)
- Dan Petrucha, lídr Ligy lidských práv – , +420 602 618 909 (www.llp.cz)
Press Release in PDF format is here.
- Press Release: Statement by the Czech Helsinki Committee to respond to the constitutional representatives of the Dalailama visit
- Press Release: Call for dismissal of the director of the Department of asylum Tomáš Haišman from office
- (Česky) Oznámení o úmrtí paní Libuše Šilhánové
- Press Release: Statement CHC to acquittal in court proceedings with RNDr. Vladimir Sanka
- Press Release: NGOs disagree with the substantive intent of the Act on Free Legal Aid
- Czech Helsinki Committee lobbying ministers regarding granting asylum to Chinese Christians
- Press Release: Opinion CHC to the prolonged detention of Martin Ignačák sentenced for attempted terrorist act
- Czech Helsinki Committee published its Annual report for the year 2015
- On June 21, 2016 was successfully held the second visit of children assisted in prison Velke Prilepy
- On June 9, 2016 was held this year’s third visit to the assisted group for mothers of children in prison in Svetla nad Sazavou
- How do they perceive our foreign trainees and law students assisted visits to children as a parent in prison?
- CHC representatives endorsed the opinion of AEDH to the situation in Europe
- CHC representatives attended a joint meeting of representatives of NGOs in Svetla nad Sazavou
- Report on the state of human rights in the Czech Republic in 2014-2015
- On 10. 5. 2016 CHC organized a second-assisted visits of children to meet their mother in the prison Světlá nad Sázavou
- The Open letter of the Czech Helsinki Committee to the Government of the Republic of Poland
- The Czech Helsinki Committee published its opinion for police intervention
- ">In the days 16 to 18 May 2016 organized by the Czech Helsinki Committee, an 2. educational seminar entitled “Looking for the key to children’s rights”
- ">In the days 18 to 20 April 2016 organized by the Czech Helsinki Committee, an 1. educational seminar entitled “Looking for the key to children’s rights”
- CHC opinion on the events in Prague during the visit of Chinese President
- Observations of the Czech Helsinki Committee, the position of the city of Prague 1 for exposure to the gallows in a demonstration against migration
- On 29. 3. 2016 CHC secured first group assisted visits by children for mothers in Svetla nad Sazavou
- Studio CT24 – press conference for social housing in the Czech Republic
- The Czech Helsinki Committee published its opinion concerning breach of freedom of religion and the case of Vladimír Sáňka
- Invitation to the conference Family in professional life (women)
- We offer two new training human-rights-oriented seminar on the protection of children’s rights
- PF 2016
- ">Press Release: Czech Helsinki Committee reminds International Human Rights Day photo exhibition “Acts of solidarity with the victims of human rights violations”
- UN decides on a resolution on the need to strengthen the protection of human rights defenders around the world
- Press release: European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) reports on the Czech Republic
- Czech Helsinki Comittee joined the open letter of several NGOs to the prime minister Sobotka concerning the social housing
- Press Release: Opinion of the Czech Helsinki Committee, the refugee situation
- Czech Helsinki Committee is engaged in awareness campaigns to promote the rights of children, entitled "It was not my crime"">Czech Helsinki Committee is engaged in awareness campaigns to promote the rights of children, entitled “It was not my crime”
- Don’t pandering to dictators – Czech Helsinki Committee says, along with other NGOs, politicians
- Operation of CHC Counselling Centre during the summer months in 2015
- Czech Helsinki Committee published its Annual report for the year 2014
- In June there was the fourth-assisted visit children’s homes for mothers serving a sentence in a prison in Svetla nad Sazavou
- Discussions on Czech Television on the show "Have you say" on the topic: We have a fear of violent psychotics among us?">Discussions on Czech Television on the show “Have you say” on the topic: We have a fear of violent psychotics among us?
- ">Czech Helsinki Committee joined the campaign “Age does not say”
- ">Táňa Fischerová spoke at the seminar “Human rights and hate violence in the Czech Republic – Civil Society and Politics”
All published posts can be found here.