Czech Govt to fight antigypsyism and anti-Semitism, beef up ombud and social housing
Addressing social housing, fighting marginalization and a robust performance against antigypsyism and intolerance are all promised in the Czech Government's draft program declaration. The cabinet also wants to get a handle on the "trafficking in poverty at overpriced residential hotels."
In the area of human rights, the government is planning to promote the equality of men and women, as well as support for more representation of women in leading positions. There is also a plan to strengthen the powers of the ombud.
The cabinet has established the post of Human Rights Minister. According to the draft program declaration, that cabinet member should mainly fight against social exclusion.
The minister is tasked with promoting "a coordinated social housing solution." Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) told the Czech News Agency previously that he wants to negotiate plans for a social housing program with representatives of towns and villages.
The minister is tasked with coordinating measures in education, social welfare, and supports against insolvency or for employment. He is also meant to "prevent abuse of the welfare system in the form of trafficking in poverty at overpriced residential hotels."
The government is also promising a robust performance against hatred, racial intolerance, and violence. Its draft program mentions the fight against antigypsyism and anti-Semitism.
In recent years anti-Romani marches have taken place throughout the country and extremists have fed off of the tense atmosphere and unrest generated by these events. The former Nečas government faced criticism for not performing well enough against such manifestations.
The powers of the ombud should also be enhanced. The ombud would be newly granted the option of turning to the Constitutional Court to propose the abolition of dubious laws in whole or in part.
The government's draft program declaration also wants to rigorously administer the principle of equality between men and women. The document counts on measures to promote the balance between family life and work, as well as ensuring sufficient nursery school places.
Greater representation of women in leading positions is also to be supported. Dienstbier told the Czech News Agency previously that he would like to open up discussion on the introduction of gender quotas into the legislation on elections.
Equal pay for equal work will also be promoted; women currently make less than men do on average. The draft program also states that the cabinet does not intend to intervene in current laws "in the sensitive area of human reproduction".
This means that, for example, the rules governing abortion or castration would not be changed. Lesbian couples and women without partners will also probably not receive the opportunity to undergo artificial insemination in the Czech Republic.
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