This Report deals with the activities of the Public Defender of Rights as the National Equality Body.
The Defender was bestowed with the role of equality body in 2009. The Czech Republic thus fulfils its obligation following from membership in the European Union. Proper implementation of the tasks entrusted to the Defender requires knowledge of not only written law (Regulations and Directives), but also the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, strategic documents of the European Commission and outputs of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Moreover, it is necessary to be aware of the activities of other organisations – especially the UN and the Council of Europe. It is expected that the Defender will provide information on his/her findings not only to national institutions, but also to international organisations and other parties dealing with discrimination. Without a separate summary report, many interesting opinions and activities of the Defender would remain hidden from the public and experts.
Since the beginning of 2015, the most important cases from the Defender’s agenda can be found on the Internet in the records of the Defender’s opinions (RDS). This makes our conclusions permanently accessible to the public. In view of the above, this Report is not (and does not intend to be) a simple summary of interesting cases. Instead, we present the individual topics on which we concentrated in the past year and try to find links between them; where applicable, we formulate additional recommendations for improvement. It should also be noted that most recipients will read the Report in electronic form. If so, they are just one click away from our database.
In 2015 we completed a study which showed that only a fragment of discrimination victims turn to the Ombudsman for help. An overwhelming majority of people would rather report discrimination to the police. The 2015 Eurobarometer survey carried out by the European Commission brought similar results. Therefore, I consider it important to constantly increase awareness throughout society regarding the Defender’s anti-discrimination competence.