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Czech anti-discrimination bill to be drafted by end of year February 7, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in anti-discrimination bill, Chamber of Deputies, CSSD, Czech, Discriminate, Discrimination, Dzamila Stehlikova, EU, family state, Justice Ministry, physical handicap, political beliefs, property, Religion, sexual orientation, Social Democrats.

The government-proposed anti-discrimination bill is to be drafted and politically approved by the end of the year at the latest, Dzamila Stehlikova, Minister without Portfolio for the Greens who is in charge of human rights, told journalists today.The parliament should pass the bill at the beginning of 2008.

“The bill will be drafted by the end of this year, which is the ultimate date, but I hope it will be sooner,” Stehlikova said.

The Czech Republic ought to have passed the legislation against discrimination when it entered the EU in 2004, but the latest bill was vetoed by the Senate last year.

The Chamber of Deputies did not vote about it before the June 2006 elections. As a result, the whole legislative process must start from scratch.

The three-party coalition has included the anti-discrimination law in its manifesto and set the end of the year as the deadline for its drafting in the coalition agreement.

The opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) want to submit their own version.

Stehlikova told CTK today that if the Social Democrat bill were good, she would back it.

The anti-discrimination law is to guarantee people equal access to education, jobs, health care, social advantages and housing. It is to protect against discrimination over sexual orientation, physical handicap, language, religion, political beliefs, property, family state and membership in political parties and trade unions.

The Justice Ministry cooperates on the government bill along with a team led by Stehlikova.

She said that it should be the ombudsman who would be in charge with the agenda connected with equal treatment. His powers would thus be widened.

“He will be able to represent people in lawsuits concerning discrimination, but since he will also be assigned with mediation, the lawsuits may be avoided,” Stehlikova said, adding that 95 percent of the cases could be settled by an agreement.

She said that she wanted to focus on the protection of the people over 50 who were most often discriminated against.

If the Czech Republic does not pass the legislation soon, it may be heavily fined.

CARD {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: praguemonitor.com

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