Archive: Society | Family Family

Using classical music to help children out of poverty

22-10-2011 02:01 | David Vaughan

In this special programme, David Vaughan looks at a unique project to encourage children with musical talent who come from some of the poorest families in the Czech Republic. The project enables primary school children to learn to play with some of the country’s foremost classical musicians. Its success is a reminder of the power of music to cross boundaries of language, class and culture.  More

Dr. Pavel Boček – child oncologist and founder of a charity for young cancer patients

08-10-2011 02:01 | Sarah Borufka

Dr. Pavel Boček is a Czech child oncologist who works at Motol hospital’s children oncology ward, sees patients in his own practice and has founded a charity for children with cancer. He also spent some time working in the United States, where he says he learned a lot about communicating with patients. For this edition of Czech Life, I spoke to Dr. Boček about his work, the field of child oncology and what first made him decide to go into that specific area of medicine.  More

Home births under fire as court case highlights family tragedy

23-09-2011 16:27 | Rob Cameron

Illustrative photo The issue of giving birth at home once again came to the fore this week after the country's most senior midwife was found guilty of criminal negligence after overseeing a botched home birth in Prague. A baby boy was left severely brain damaged after being deprived of oxygen, and later died. The midwife denies any wrongdoing, and says the complications were unforeseen and unavoidable.  More

Czech Republic to abolish infant homes by 2013

26-08-2011 16:02 | Jan Richter

The Czech government plans to abolish all of the country’s infant homes where babies under the age of three are placed if they are considered at risk or their families cannot take care of them. Some 2,000 infants spent time in these homes last year – but beginning in January 2013, the government wants to place babies in individual foster care. Most experts have welcomed the idea but many warn that much needs to be improved in the foster care system before infant homes can be abolished. Radio Prague spoke to Petra Vrtbovská, the head of the NGO NATAMA which helps to find foster parents for children at risk.  More

Czech Constitutional Court rules against sending ten-year-old boy to psychiatric facility due to custody battle

03-08-2011 15:20 | Sarah Borufka

The Czech Constitutional Court has just issued a verdict in favor of a mother fighting to prevent her ten-year-old son – a perfectly healthy boy -from being returned to a psychiatric hospital. The boy had already spent six months there during his parents’ custody battle on the basis of a previous court ruling. The court dealt with the case at the instigation of the boy’s father who demanded that the boy be taken from his mother’s care because she was biased against him and was having a bad influence on the child.  More

Five years since same-sex registered partnership was introduced activists say bill didn’t go far enough

28-07-2011 16:02 | Jan Velinger

It has been five years since the bill on registered partnership between gay couples came into force in the Czech Republic. During the period, more than 1,200 gay and lesbian couples in the country formed civil unions. While most within the gay community welcomed the original legislation as an important milestone, many still feel it didn’t go far enough as it failed to recognise gay marriage or adoption rights. Radio Prague spoke to Zdeněk Sloboda, a representative of PROUD, a Czech initiative promoting human rights.   More

UN to Czech Republic: find alternatives to institutional care for children

23-06-2011 16:04 | Daniela Lazarová

Baby box The Czech Republic has once again come under fire for failing to adequately protect child rights. In its latest report the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child criticized the high number of institutionalized children in the country saying the authorities had done little to resolve this chronic problem. It also recommended that the country close its network of baby boxes –safe and anonymous hospital facilities for leaving unwanted children - which it claims violate several provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  More

Czech Helsinki Committee helping children with jailed parents

09-06-2011 | Daniela Lazarová

At the present time there are close to 30,000 children in the Czech Republic whose parents are serving time in prison. Due to the country’s legislation and rooted prejudices family bonds are severed in the worst possible way –the maximum time these children are allowed to spend with their jailed parent is three hours a month – the less fortunate ones are simply told that mummy or daddy went away. The Czech Helsinki Committee is fighting to improve these children’s lot arguing that the restrictions in place can do irreparable damage. I spoke to Monika Bunžová of the Czech Helsinki Committee about the NGOs Invisible Children campaign.  More

New initiative aims to promote the country’s foster and adoptive families’ system

01-06-2011 16:05 | Sarah Borufka

June 1 marks International Children’s Day in the Czech Republic, where more than 11,000 children who cannot be raised by their biological parents live in institutionalized care – an unusually high number compared with other European countries. Widespread institutionalized care is a legacy of communism, when children’s homes were the only option and foster families did not exist. A new initiative, odsouzeni.cz, is aiming to change that. I spoke to Roman Pavlík, the coordinator of the initiative which aims to promote alternative forms of child care, such as foster and adoptive families, in the Czech Republic. I started by asking him to describe the typical situation of a child who cannot be raised by his or her parents here in the Czech Republic.  More

New royal couple looks Czech gift horse in the mouth

19-05-2011 16:26 | Christian Falvey

Favory Alta XXI, photo: Archiv of the National Stud in Kladruby Amid all the disagreements in the cabinet there has also been wrangling of a different sort – apparently the issue of what to give the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, for a wedding present. The powers that be in fact agreed on quite a lot on Wednesday, and between an anti-corruption bill, welfare reform and a ten-year outlook for the armed forces, they also hammered an agreement to give the new royal couple a horse. It is of course a horse as souped up as they come, a rare young stallion with a radiant pedigree, but London apparently wants a look under the bonnet before they welcome the gift horse to the queen’s own stables.   More

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