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July 6, 2022



Czech Govt Human Rights Commissioner: Government should collaborate more with experts and offer refugee families in tents dignified aid

17.5.2022 14:47
Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)
Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

“In recent weeks, I too have noticed voices from the field, especially from NGOs reporting that especially when Romani refugee families with young children arrive in the Czech Republic, bigger families, at the beginning of their integration process situations are arising where actually their needs are not being met as completely as the needs of non-Roma refugee families," the newly-appointed Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková said in an interview for Czech Radio, adding that if this is genuinely happening, it is important to stop it.

Laurenčíková said that she has also been monitoring the situation at the main railway station in Prague and in other cities in her role as the chair of the Czech Government Human Rights Council's Committee on the Rights of the Child. "It is obvious that the capacities of big cities such as Prague or Brno are exhausted at the moment. It is very important to involve other bigger cities and regions in collaborating on resolving the current crisis more than they have so far,” she said.

In her view, "tent cities" are not an ideal solution for families with small children and should only be a very last resort. "It is very important that such a solution be absolutely exceptional and temporary," said Laurenčíková.

As the Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner, she said she will do her best to strengthen dialogue between the Government and the relevant ministries with experts from civil society and NGOs so that all those addressing the situation manage to develop functional procedures for offering children and families conditions for dignified housing, essential support and social work. With respect to the critical voices drawing attention to institutional racism, she said she stands by the experience and expert opinions of her colleagues who have focused on integration and long operated directly in the field, for example, as part of the Committee on the Rights of Foreign Nationals at the Czech Government Human Rights Council.   

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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