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U.S. Statement at the UPR of the Czech Republic
October 23, 2012

U.S. Statement at the UPR of the Czech Republic
 Session October 22, 2012
(as delivered)

The United States warmly welcomes Deputy Minister Vladimír Galuška and the Czech delegation to the UPR Working Group.

We commend the Czech Republic’s long-standing commitment to the promotion of human rights, both domestically and internationally.

We understand that combating discrimination against members of minority communities is a priority for the Czech Government and we look forward to additional steps being taken by the Czech authorities.  However, we remain concerned about the treatment of Romani individuals and members of other minority communities in the Czech Republic.  In particular, we are concerned about the continued unlawful segregation of Romani children into “practical” or special schools.

We commend the work of the Agency for Social Inclusion and the Human Rights Commissioner, and we support their continuing efforts.  However, we recognize that the full integration of socially disadvantaged minorities, including Roma, remains a problem.  Members of socially excluded groups face discrimination in housing and employment and racism or intolerance against them sometimes results in violence.  Opinion polls have shown deteriorating attitudes towards Romani people and the media often present skewed or inaccurate information about minorities.

We understand that another significant challenge is official corruption, a phenomenon that hampers economic growth, and can undermine the implementation of human rights and faith in public institutions.  The lack of rules to shield civil servants from political pressure and protect whistleblowers, as well as inadequate rules about financial disclosure and conflicts of interest, are factors that we believe contribute to corruption.

Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States makes the following recommendations:

  1. Fully implement the 2010 National Action Plan for Inclusive Education by mainstreaming Romani students whenever possible.
  2. Take steps to eliminate discriminatory practices in housing and employment to fully comply with the 2009 Anti-Discrimination Act.
  3. Enact legislation contained in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.