Czech Centre for Human Rights and Democracy

The Centre is an independent academic institution monitoring human rights developments both domestically and worldwide, issuing a monthly Bulletin, as well as organizing conferences.

07/11/2019 - 10:34  

The June Bulletin opens with an exceptional contribution (in English) commemorating the 80th anniversary of when the Briton, Nicholas Winton, saved the lives of 669 children from Czechoslovakia. At that time in 1939, John Karlik was among those saved and brings us a personal recollection on his early years spent in Prague and later in England.

Kristýna Molková Foukalová then writes about a meeting in Madrid of female judges from all over the world, where they discussed the topic of gender in the judiciary.

06/28/2019 - 07:04  

The May Bulletin opens with a traditional report from Veronika Bílková and Kateřina Šimáčková, Czech representatives at the Venice Commission. Within the last session, the most discussed topics were the opinion on the administrative courts in Hungary and the text related to the ‘Ombudsman principles’. Apart from the principles, the Venice Commission also focused on a revision of the constitution of Luxembourg.

06/16/2019 - 16:36   Tereza Žuffová-Kunčová

“Uighurs” are an oppressed minority group of Chinese Muslims living in Northwest China. While many voices have called for stopping China and its actions against this minority, it remains relatively unknown that the US has also played an important role in the violations of the human rights of this minority.

Alleged terrorists

As a result of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, the US began the “War on Terror,” a military campaign launched by President George W. Bush. The campaign was against the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, which operated in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it also combated other terrorist groups throughout the region.

05/25/2019 - 13:18   Douglas Radcliff

The debate over vaccinations dates back to 1998 to a study conducted by a later discredited Dr. Andrew Wakefield suggesting that vaccinations led to a rise in autism among vaccinated children. Since then, the debate has taken a foothold, with numerous people speaking against state and medically recommended vaccines, ultimately resulting in a national security, public health and human rights issue.

The Debate

Although there is no federal law in the U.S. requiring vaccines, all 50 states require various vaccines for children to attend any public school, with certain exemptions for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. Additionally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends vaccines. Almost all, regardless of their side, would say that the debate focuses on the safety and health of children. Many people against vaccines feel that vaccines have the ability to cause children to develop autism, ADHD, and diabetes, blaming corrupt government officials, greedy pharmaceutical companies and biased scientific studies. They feel that children’s immune systems can naturally deal with infections and that injecting a questionable vaccine will cause side effects.

05/01/2019 - 13:13   Jan Lhotský

The International Criminal Court, seated in The Hague, prosecutes perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. A Czech judge and leading expert on criminal law, Robert Fremr, is one of its 18 judges. What does this role encompass?  What are Judge Fremr’s views on the Court’s current problems?

The interview was published in May 2017, in Czech, now we also present it in English.

Robert Fremr spent his whole career life focusing on criminal law. During his work as a judge, he worked on a number of courts and in 2004 he was appointed to serve at the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic. Apart from this, Judge Fremr taught criminal law at university and between the years 2006-2008 and 2010-2012 he served as ad litem judge at the International Criminal tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). This international experience helped his candidacy for the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he has worked as a judge since March 2012.