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Introduction

The information contained on this page represents the situation as of 1 January 2013 and is a summary of the country report produced by the country expert from the network. The summary can be downloaded here as well.

Contact:
David Zahumensky
E-mail: David.Zahumensky@seznam.cz

Country context

Society in the Czech Republic, a country with a population of 10 million, has become increasingly homogenous during its post-war history. In 1945, as part of the settlements following the Second World War, legislation was approved to expatriate most Germans (the largest minority in Czechoslovakia) and Hungarians. The majority of the Czechoslovak Roma and Jewish populations had perished in German concentration camps and many members of the Jewish minority who survived the Holocaust were expatriated as German nationals. 

Main principles and definitions

Definitions of direct and indirect discrimination, sexual harassment and harassment, as well as indirect discrimination on the ground of disability are included in the Anti-discrimination Law. The legislation provides protection from discrimination against natural persons, but this protection does not apply to legal persons.

Enforcing the law

While de lege there are no serious problems regarding transposition of the anti-discrimination directives, there are more significant problems in the area of enforcement of the existing legislation. The system of laws provides for civil, criminal and administrative enforcement, but in practice there are existing problems in all these areas.

Main legislation

The Czech Republic has ratified all the instruments for combating discrimination in the two main international human rights systems, the United Nations and the Council of Europe, including the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, ILO Convention No. 111 and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The country is also a party to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The national legal system is framed by the Czech Constitution, which refers to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Czech Republic as part of the constitutional provisions. 

Material scope

The Czech anti-discrimination provisions implementing the Directives cover labour relations, including employment and working conditions, dismissals and pay, membership of and involvement in an organisation of workers or employers, in both the public and private sectors. They also cover access to employment (job recruitment, re-qualification etc.), on all grounds included in the EU anti-discrimination directives – sex, race and ethnicity, religion, disability (state of health), age and sexual orientation. 

Equality bodies

The equality body in the Czech Republic was established with effect from 1 December 2009. The Anti-discrimination Law does not establish a new body but awards the functions required by Article 13 of Directive 2000/43/EC to the Public Defender of Rights (Czech Ombudsman).

Go to the European Commission - Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities This initiative is financed by the EC Programme Progress. But the views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.