Czech Republic is a Member State of the Council of Europe (COE) and of the United Nations (UN), and has human rights obligations at the regional and universal levels.
Regional: European System
As a Member of the COE, Czech Republic has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and is subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. Czech Republic has ratified the European Social Charter, and has authorized the European Committee of Social Rights to decide collective complaints against it. Its human rights policies and practices are also monitored by the COE Commissioner for Human Rights, who identifies gaps in human rights protection, conducts country visits, engages in dialogue with States, and prepares thematic reports and advice.
Individuals and groups have submitted complaints of human rights violations committed by Czech Republic to the European Court of Human Rights. For example, in the Court held that the pattern of placing Roma children in specialized schools intended for children with intellectual disabilities constituted a violation of the right to education without discrimination. See ECtHR, D.H. and Others v. Czech Republic, no. 57325/00, ECHR 2007, Judgment of 13 November 2007. Additionally, the Court may grant interim measures to protect people in urgent situations of risk in Czech Republic.
As a State party to the European Social Charter, Czech Republic must submit regular reports to the European Committee of Social Rights on its implementation of the Charter’s provisions. The Committee has also decided collective complaints against Czech Republic. The Committee held that the lack of explicit and effective prohibition of all corporal punishment violated the right of children to protection as enshrined in the Charter. See ECSR, Association for the Protection of All Children v. Czech Republic, Complaint No. 96/2013, Merits, 20 January 2013.
Czech Republic is party to the following regional human rights treaties:
- European Convention on Human Rights and several of its protocols
- European Social Charter
- COE Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
- European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
United Nations System
As a UN Member State, Czech Republic is subject to the oversight of various UN human rights bodies, including the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review and thematic special procedures. As a party to specific universal human rights treaties, Czech Republic’s policies and practices are monitored by UN treaty bodies. It has accepted the complaints procedure of six treaty bodies.
Czech Republic has ratified the following UN human rights treaties:
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
- Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED)
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
Czech Republic has also ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aimed at abolishing the death penalty, and optional protocols to the CRC addressing children in armed conflict and the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography. Czech Republic has a duty to submit State reports to each UN treaty body that is associated with the relevant treaty Czech Republic has ratified. These reports must be submitted on a periodic basis and describe the steps taken to implement the treaty provisions.
Czech Republic has also ratified optional protocols and made appropriate declarations allowing individuals to submit complaints against the State alleging violations of the ICCPR, CEDAW, CRC, CAT, CED, and CERD. Additionally, certain UN treaties contain inquiry procedures, which allow the UN treaty body to consider allegations of grave or systematic human rights violations. Czech Republic has accepted the inquiry procedures of the CAT, CRC, CED, and CEDAW.
In September 2000, Czech Republic extended a standing invitation to UN special procedures, which means that any such mandate holders are welcome to conduct visits in Czech Republic. For example, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism went on a mission to Czech Republic in September 1999 and published a report on that visit in February 2000.
For more information on Czech Republic’s engagement with UN human rights bodies, visit http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/CZIndex.aspx.
Last updated: January 2020