Czech-Chinese relations have been in the news a lot lately, but how have they really developed over the decades? And how should we view Chinese moves to develop a new high-tech form of totalitarianism involving facial recognition and “social credit”? I discussed those issues with Professor Olga Lomová, head of the Department of Sinology at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts. But I first asked the country’s leading sinologist what had led her to the field.
Few people today have heard of Bertha von Suttner, the Prague-born writer and activist whose message of peace stirred great powers to action. Yet her thoughts live on in today’s international organisations such as the European Union or the Permanent Court of Arbitration and her dreams of ending military conflicts through disarmament continue to be pursued by parliamentarians and civil society groups across the world.
Statistics show that incarceration and reoffending rates in the Czech Republic are among the highest in Europe. To combat this phenomenon 10 organisations that focus on helping prisoners reintegrate into society have decided to form an association. They hope the new alliance will bring about more flexibility, as well as greater influence when lobbying for change with the government.
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 kidnapping of a former Vietnamese Communist party official from Berlin
via the Czech Republic and Slovakia to Vietnam, which took place two years
ago, has raised security concerns among the Vietnamese community in the
Czech Republic, according to a report on the situation of national
minorities prepared by Vietnamese representatives.
Human rights activists are particularly concerned about their safety, the report says. They believe that the Vietnamese Communist Party has a network of agents in the Czech Republic and prepared the kidnapping here with the help of Vietnamese people with residence permits.
The document should be discussed by the Czech government on Monday.
One of Czech Radio’s leading charity projects is in aid of the blind and visually impaired. Established in 2003, Světluška, or Firefly, annually collects around 15 million crowns to be distributed among people with impaired eyesight, not just to help them cope, but to enjoy life to the full. At the same time it raises public awareness of the problem giving the sighted a chance to find out what it is like to manage daily activities without this key sense.
Councillors at Prague City Hall unanimously voted in favour of creating a Museum of 20th Century Memory in the Czech capital on Monday. The plan is to provide the country with an equivalent to renowned twentieth century museums abroad such as the Topography of Terror in Berlin or the Museum of the Second World War in Danzig.
Prague councillors unanimously agreed on Monday to establish a Museum of
20th Century Memory that will focus on the history of non-free regimes in
the Czech lands. The city council is to put the proposal to a formal vote
on September 19.
A total of 30 civic associations and social organizations bringing together former political prisoners, educators and researchers had expressed support for setting up the new museum.
If approved, the museum’s board will likely include historian and writer Jiří Padevět, Post Bellum director Mikuláš Kroupa and historian Petr Blažek of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.
According to the Global Slavery Index, there are currently over 30,000
people living in “modern slavery” in the Czech Republic, Czech Radio
reported on Sunday. Offenders use them mainly for seasonal work or in
The Czech Republic presently ranks 108th out of 167 countries on the Global Slavery Index. The country sentenced 16 people for human trafficking last year, according to data released by the Ministry of the Interior.
The victims are mostly people from socially disadvantaged groups and foreigners, mainly from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania or Vietnam.
The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has launched an
interactive map showing where victims of the 1968 invasion met their
deaths. It details the victims’ names and where, when and how they died
in connection with the Soviet-led invasion between August 1968 and August
The map’s co-creator, historian Milan Bárta, said that while people initially died in big cities, later victims met their deaths on country roads as the result of traffic accidents as soldiers were barred from entering cities and withdrew to the regions.
Link to map (in Czech): https://obetiokupace.dejepis21.cz/
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czech agencies smash spy ring operated by “very aggressive” Russians
Prague City Hall terminates memorandum with e-scooter operator Lime
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home