This Tuesday is “Safer Internet Day”, part of an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project launched in 2004 to raise awareness of threats posed to children online. In the Czech Republic, police have noted a significant rise in cybercrime in recent years, with children increasingly falling victim to bullying and online predators.
The Czech Republic should consider prohibiting physical punishment in children, ombudswoman Anna Šabatová said at a conference marking the 30 anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Tuesday. Asked to comment by the Czech News Agency, the Government Commissioner for Human Rights Helena Válková said she would be in favour of the prohibition, depending on its legal formulation. Currently the use of physical punishment on children is completely prohibited in 23 EU states.
Fifty-four percent of Czechs say the government is not doing enough to
support families with children, according to the results of a poll
conducted by NMS Market Research.
Thirty-three percent of parents with one child said they were not planning a second because of financial reasons.
Seventeen percent said they could not have a second child because of housing problems and 10% cited work reasons.
Only 15 percent of Czech parents said they were planning a third child.
The number of induced abortions in the Czech Republic has dropped by nearly 20 percent over the past five years. While in 2014, the Institute of Health Information and Statistics recorded a little below 22,000 induced abortions, last year it was only 18,300. One of the reasons is that an increasing number of Czechs are planning their parenthood.
Czech children are more active than their peers in other parts of the world when it comes to spending their free time, suggests an international study carried out by experts from the Palacký University in Olomouc. According to the survey, nearly 90 percent of Czech kids attend some after-school classes. However, an increasing number of them also spend time at their computers.
The lower house of Parliament is expected to approve a government tax
package at its session starting on Tuesday. It includes a proposal to raise
taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, and an increase in parental
The basic parental allowance could rise from 80,000 crowns to 300,000 crowns. MPs are also due to start discuss the draft state budget for 2020, which counts on a 40 billion crown deficit.
In the initial round, MPs will approve the budget’s basic parameters, i.e. revenue, expenditure and deficit. MPs have tabled dozens of amendments to the tax package, only some of which the Committee on Budgets has supported thus far.
On Friday, Prime Minister Andrei Babiš (ANO) and Communist party leader Vojtěch Filip agreed to allocate an additional 4.9 billion crowns for the health sector. Originally, 334 billion crowns was earmarked for the sector.
About 500 heads of nursery schools and kindergartens throughout the Czech
Republic have complained in a letter to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO)
that pre-school education is being neglected.
The letter charges that Minister of Education Robert Plaga (ANO) has failed to invest in kindergartens despite increasing numbers of children being enrolled.
There has been a marked rise in class size after pre-school attendance was made compulsory in order for disadvantaged families to receive certain social benefits.
Pre-school teachers often now have up to 28 children in their classrooms, the headmasters say.
Children’s‘ rights and their treatment in Czechia have not improved
much in the past eight years, according to a new report by the Czech
Helsinki Committee, whose details were discussed at a press conference on
Monday. The document will be examined later this week by the UN’s
Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The analysis states that care for endangered Czech children is still splintered across multiple ministries, the amount of boys and girls in foster homes, while down since 2011, is still high and children’s opinions are not always taken into account at court.
According to the Miroslav Prokeš from the Alliance for Children’s’ Rights, Czech society still sees children more as objects rather than partners.
The minister for labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová, is planning
to re-introduce state-subsidized crèches as of 2021.
The minister has stressed the need to address the lack of facilities for children under the age of 3.
Parents who need to place their child in a day-care facility either find so-called children’s’ groups, which are fairly expensive, or try to enrol them in kindergartens.
Under the new system children’s groups would be transformed into crèches and the state would subsidize all children under the age of 4 with a sum of 5,000 crowns a month.
The sum paid for by the child’s parents should not exceed a third of the minimal wage (presently 4,450), Maláčová said.
Children over the age of four would be placed in kindergartens. There are currently 45,000 two-year-olds in kindergartens.