The Public Defender of Rights launched a new publication on discrimination and underreporting in the Czech Republic. The aim was to explore the experience of the Czech population with discrimination, and to analyse individual, social and institutional obstacles that the victims of discrimination encounter when attempting to assert their rights.
Though it appears that a significant part of the population of the Czech Republic feels discriminated against for diverse reasons (as attested, for instance, by the results of the Eurobarometer from 2012), the number of complaints addressed to the Public Defender of Rights and the administrative bodies, or the number of court cases concerning discrimination do not correspond to this. In the Czech Republic, we are clearly facing a considerable unwillingness of the victims of discrimination to assert their guaranteed rights. What is the cause of this unwillingness, and how could the situation be improved?
These questions were to be answered by this survey whose objective was to investigate the experience of the Czech population with discrimination, and to analyse the individual, social and institutional obstacles that the victims of discrimination encounter while trying to claim their rights. The Public Defender of Rights was interested not just in the experience of the general population and the underprivileged groups, but also in the views of the actors who enforce the right to equal treatment: administrative bodies, courts and non-profit organizations.
1. The first part describes and analyses the experience of Czech population with discrimination in general (including its knowledge of anti-discrimination legislation and the possibilities of its enforcement).
2. The second qualitative part is concerned with the specific experience of members of underprivileged groups with discrimination.
3-4. The two subsequent parts analyse the activities of the actors who participate in enforcement of equal treatment: nonprofit organizations (Part Three) and courts and inspection authorities (Part Four).
5. The fifth part summarizes the principal findings and, above all, recommendations which could mitigate the obstacles in seeking legal aid.