Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights to take up human rights agenda, discrimination still an issue
The Czech Public Defender of Rights, Stanislav Křeček, has preliminarily divvied up the office's agenda with his deputy, Monika Šimůnková. Křeček will continue to work on the complaints he was previously in charge of as deputy, while Šimůnková will take up the human rights agenda of the former ombudswoman, Anna Šabatová.
Yesterday was Křeček's first day as ombudsman in Brno. Šimůnková will dedicate her work to the human rights agenda, such as monitoring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or the agenda concerning people in detention, incarceration or institutionalization.
Křeček's agenda will involve complaints about construction or land-use law. That was the area he was in charge of as deputy.
Both Křeček and Šimůnková say there is still a conflict about the agenda of discrimination, which the Deputy Public Defender of Rights would also like to be in charge of, but according to the ombudsman, there will be further discussions about it. "Differing opinions between the Public Defender of Rights and his deputy are nothing new, they have always been here. However, this is about it not growing so large that it degrades the meaning of the institution," the ombudsman said.
Křeček would not exclude personnel changes at the office. "Personnel changes are indispensable. If a new boss comes to an office, there are always some changes, but we are not planning any essential changes at this moment," he said when asked by the Czech News Agency about his plans.
The ombudsman had stated prior to taking office that he would consider transferring some lawyers to work on a different agenda. Yesterday he said he must consider whether those people are actually involved in work that pertains to the office of the ombudsman.
Former ombudswoman Anna Šabatová welcomed her successor to the office, but their meeting was just a brief one. They shook hands and Křeček thanked Šabatová for the job she had done while in the role.
The 81-year-old was selected as ombudsman by the Chamber of Deputies last week and took the oath of office on Wednesday. Yesterday was his first day on the job.
Both opponents and supporters of his election were waiting for him in front of the building yesterday and those opposed blockaded his access for several minutes. Police arrested seven of them.
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