Analysis finds collections increasing in Czech Republic, affordable housing lacking
The growing number of collections proceedings, unaffordable housing and the unequal positions of men and women are currently the most burning problems of Czech society, according to the annual National Report of the Czech Social Watch coalition. Authors of the analysis held a press conference on 19 July to warn that the UN's strategic document Agenda 2030, which calls for the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, are being ignored.
"The most burning problems in the Czech Republic are the degree of households' overindebtedness and the number of collections proceedings underway affecting almost 10 % of the population age 15 and older," the report says. Radek Hábl, the author of the chapter on indebtedness, sees the risk of this as especially being that as many as 95 % of new collections proceedings are begun against people who are already under other such proceedings.
One solution could be a bankruptcy bill that would make it possible for people to achieve debt forgiveness. Hábl said it is a paradox that even though the Czech economy is doing well, the number of collections is growing.
The report also warns of problems associated with affordable housing, especially in big cities. "The lack of apartments contributes to trafficking in poverty, which the public administration is not able to address, and politicians are ignoring it while constantly referring to the needs of the free market," the authors say.
Social Watch perceives a long-term problem to be the inequality of men and women in Czech society. According to the organizations in the coalition, gender differences in salaries are especially apparent.
"Women in the Czech Republic make 21.8 % less than men on average and within the European Union we are in the next-to-last place in this regard, the only country doing worse is Estonia," the study reports, referencing Eurostat data. Social Watch is an international network active in 96 countries associating several hundred organizations.
The coalition annually publishes reports assessing deficiencies and progress in combating poverty and achieving equality between men and women. Since 2015, when the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, Social Watch has also concentrated on monitoring obligations leading to their fulfillment.
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