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July 6, 2022



New Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner will be Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková

12.5.2022 7:24
Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)
Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková, director of the Czech Professional Society for Inclusive Education (ČOSIV), will be the new Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner. She was selected by the Government yesterday. 

Sara Beránková, a spokesperson for the Mayors and Independents (STAN) party, which is in the governing coalition, announced the appointment to the Czech News Agency (ČTK). Laurenčíková also confirmed it to ČTK. 

The new Government Human Rights Commissioner said she plans to contribute to promoting children's rights, the rights of those living with disabilities, and senior citizens' rights as well as to strengthen cohesion, equal opportunity and solidarity in Czech society. She also plans to support greater collaboration between experts and the state and to focus on the integration of refugees. 

The coalition of the Pirates and STAN proposed and supported her to the rest of the cabinet as an expert on educational integration. "For the Pirates, the protection of human rights and freedoms is absolutely crucial, so I am very pleased that Klára Laurenčíková became the Human Rights Commissioner," said MP Olga Richterová, a vice-chair of the lower house, adding that all governing coalition parties agreed on her as the nominee put forward by the Pirates.

"In the past, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with her as an independent expert and her expertise and quality are completely unquestionable, as has been confirmed by countless experts. I am looking forward to continuing our cooperation," Richterová said.

"We Pirates are devoted intensively to social topics and the protection of rights and freedoms, so there are many areas where can continue to advocate for developments,” Richterová said. MP Klára Kocmanová (Pirates), who has also been paying attention to this area for a long time, commented that “It is great news for all of us that human rights finally have their representative at the Government level."

"I am particularly pleased that it is Klára Laurenčíková, who has broad support from the professional and general publics. Human rights matter and it is necessary to pay sufficient attention to this agenda,” said Kocmanová. 

“This is also important because our Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský managed to negotiate the Czech Republic's entry into the UN Human Rights Council. We are sending a clear signal to our allies, thanks to this new commissioner, that we take the protection of rights really seriously,” added Kocmanová.

Vít Rakušan, who chairs STAN and serves as both Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, said Laurenčíková is a candidate of quality and her appointment "opens the door" for collaboration with experts and the nonprofit sector; he described her as the "highly respected chair" of the advisory Sub-Committee on the Rights of the Child at the Czech Government Human Rights Council. "She is a person with experience and long-held opinions who will have the power to assert the agenda of human rights at the level of the Government and will certainly be an important partner in the lower house," said MP Barbora Urbanová (STAN). 

Laurenčíková is a special needs educator. She works as an expert guarantor on children's mental health issues for the Czech Health Ministry. 

She also lectures at Charles University's Education Faculty in Prague. In the past, she was Deputy Education Minister. 

The post of Czech Government Human Rights Minister has been unoccupied since the close of January. On 26 January, the Government dismissed then-Commissioner Helena Válková, who is also an MP with the opposition ANO movement and who had held the human rights post since May 2019. 

Válková had been appointed by the administration of ANO and the Czech Social Democratic Party, which was supported by the Communists. At the close of 2021, she agreed with Prime Minister Petr Fiala (Civic Democratic Party - ODS) that she should not continue in the role.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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