A new police squad has been established to fight forced labour and exploitation of workers in the Czech Republic. This concerns mainly foreigners from Ukraine, Moldavia and Russia who are forced into prostitution or exploited in menial jobs. The unit's head Jan Mikes said that the Czech Republic had little experience in this field for the present time and was gathering know-how from abroad, particularly from the Netherlands. According to the daily Lidove Noviny up to 20,000 foreigners work in the Czech Republic illegally and an estimated 80 percent of those are subjected to forced labour or exploited.
This year's Summer School of Slavonic studies is in full swing at Prague's Charles University. Almost 250 people are immersed in the study of Czech language, culture, and life. Students from all over the world - around 40 countries in all - and all degrees of education come together to brave the difficulties of learning Czech. More
The Czech Police force has decided to recruit members of three minority groups. If everything goes according to plan, more Roma, Vietnamese and Ukrainians could join the force as early as next year. Dita Asiedu reports: More
Current AffairsNew study suggests Eastern Europeans facing tougher restrictions on labour market than westerners
"A friend I once lived with had a fever and couldn't go to work for three days. Our boss said 'Ukrainians do not have fevers'. That must mean that we are machines," a quote from 39 year old Ilja from Ukraine. Ilja is just one of the 50 or so non-EU Eastern Europeans who was interviewed by the Multicultural Centre in Prague as part of a study to determine how first generation immigrants, who have been living in the Czech Republic since the 1990s are faring on the Czech labour market. More
Since the Czech Republic joined the European Union two years ago, many Czechs have taken advantage of the chance to work in those states with free labour markets. Perhaps more surprisingly, more and more citizens of other countries in the EU are now choosing to work here in the Czech Republic. Figures just released show a large increase in their numbers in the last twelve months. Dita Asiedu reports: More
Since the early 1990s, the Czech Republic has become a destination for a large number of immigrants and refugees from all over the world. Most Czechs recognize that immigration is and will continue to be an increasingly important factor for stemming a declining birth rate and spurring future economic development, but immigrants and refugees often experience great difficulty integrating into Czech society upon arrival. Some, like the Centre for the Integration of Foreigners attempt to ease their transition. More
A report by the Interior Ministry says that last month the lowest number of people applied for asylum in the Czech Republic since 1999. Asylum applications were filed by 218 foreigners in April, most of them from Ukraine and Kazakhstan, followed by Belarus, Turkey and Russia. Since 1990, more than 82,000 foreigners have applied for asylum in the Czech Republic. Asylum was granted to almost 3,000.
Jan Culik lecturers in Czech at the Slavonic Studies department at Glasgow University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures. He is also well known here in the Czech Republic as a political commentator and the man behind the Britske listy website. In the first part of our interview last week, he recalled aspects of his life in Prague before he left Czechoslovakia in the 1970s. Today Jan Culik talks about what happened when he moved to Glasgow. More
Since European Union enlargement two years ago, hundreds of thousands of young people from the new, mostly ex-communist member states have gone to the United Kingdom and Ireland in search of work and opportunity. At the end of February a free weekly magazine directly aimed at such young immigrants was launced in London. It's called Fusion, and its Czech editor is Klara Smolova. On the phone from the British capital, she explained the thinking behind it. More
The Senate on Thursday approved a bill under which foreigners living and working in the Czech Republic could be granted permanent residence after five years, as opposed to the present ten. This bill concerns some 38,000 foreigners living in the country and is seen as a fundamental breakthrough. More