A group of Czech MPs are planning to put forward legislation that would allow gays and lesbians living in registered partnership to adopt their partner’s child. MP Radka Maxová from the ANO party told reporters on Wednesday the bill, which should enter the legislative process later this week, was needed to allow registered partners take care of their children without fear of legal consequences. The legislation would however not make it possible for same-sex couples to adopt children from children’s homes and other institutions. There are around 900 children living in same-sex households in the Czech Republic, according to 2011 population census data.
The Czech government has formally begun preparing new legislation, which will assist socially disadvantaged groups in finding employment in Czech businesses and public institutions. Presently, employers seeking to add handicapped or homeless staff to their ranks do so without a precise legal framework.
Next week’s Prague Pride festival will celebrate LGBT culture through over 100 events culminating in a parade through the city centre that has in the past seen 20,000 participants. The 2014 Pride, the fourth, is the first to take place under the auspices of a government minister. I discussed the significance of that support with festival head Czeslaw Walek. But I began by asking him what the thinking was behind the slogan of this year’s Prague Pride, Rise Up Against Homophobia.
A former MP has received a suspended sentence for hate speech after making racist comments about the Roma minority on Facebook. Otto Chaloupka, who was elected on the ticket of Public Affairs, has appealed the verdict. In connection with racial tensions arising from an incident in which a group of Romanies beat up a couple, the erstwhile politician wrote that things would kick off if there were any more such Gypsy provocations; then not even riot police would be able to protect them. He denies that the words were threatening.
Plans are afoot to compensate thousands of Czech women, many from the Roma minority, sterilised against their will between the early 1970s and the early 1990s. Lidové noviny reported on Friday that victims could receive up to CZK 150,000 each under legislation being prepared by the human rights minister and an NGO, the Czech Helsinki Committee. I asked the latter’s director Lucie Rybová how many victims were likely to benefit from the scheme, if it is approved.
Minister of Culture Daniel Herman led a commemoration on Friday at the site of the World War Two Lety internment camp for Roma which was created in July 1942. Herman recalled that the labour and internment camp for the Roma population from Bohemia camp was run by Czech officials from the Protectorate police force and that their brutality was equal to anything carried out by the Germans. Most of those who died at the camp were children. Those who survived were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz death camp. Herman said he and minister for human rights Jiří Dienstbier were working on plans so that part of the site of the camp would no longer be a pig farm but a suitable commemorative site.
Social Watch, an international anti-poverty advocacy group, has criticized the Czech Republic over increasing numbers of overpriced and substandard accommodation facilities often used by the poor, and continuing anti-Romany rallies. In its annual report for 2013 released on Wednesday, the group says the country was affected by chaos, incompetence, record-high unemployment and decreasing living standards for a majority of the population. The group has also criticized a lack of women in the lower house of Parliament and other top political positions.
The Czech Republic’s new Romany elite is rising due to increasing numbers of Romanies with university degrees, the news website idnes.cz reported on Sunday. While only around 100 of the country’s 250,000-strong Romany community are currently studying at Czech universities, the number of those receiving some type of scholarships has tripled over the last nine years, from 59 to 151, according to figures by Romea, an advocacy group. Romany leaders quoted in the report say the rising number of university students has a big impact both on the Romany community and the majority society but note their overall number is still very small.
Police have charged a man with an attack on a homeless man in Prague that resulted in the latter’s death. The accused, who is 34, faces a charge of grievous bodily harm resulting in death in connection with the incident, which occurred near the Hradčanská tram stop in Prague 6 on Monday, and faces up to 16 years in jail if found guilty. The motive for the attack, in which the victim was beaten and kicked, was a debt of CZK 350, a police spokesperson said.
Police are searching for a man who brutally beat up a homeless person in the streets of Prague in the early hours of Monday. The homeless man died of grievous internal injuries shortly after. The incident happened shortly before 7am at a Hradčanská tram stop. The police have released a description of the aggressor and asked potential witnesses to come forward. If convicted the man could face a sentence of up to 16 years.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”