After months of debate, the coalition government has agreed in principle to provide free school lunches to children from the “neediest” families enrolled in nursery and primary. But the ANO and Social Democrat parties have yet to agree which families are “poor” enough to qualify, or when to implement the change.
The Czech Republic – along with most Council of Europe member states – has signed on to the “Istanbul Convention”, which aims at preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, and adapted its legislation towards ratifying the treaty. The main challenge now, according to the Czech Women’s Lobby, is to take concrete steps to better prevent such violence and help those who fall victim to it.
The Olomouc tax office has come under fire for asking close to one hundred newlywed couples to provide financial details regarding their wedding feast and number of guests who attended. The case has thrown a negative light on the law on electronic cash registers which has already been criticized by the opposition for invading people’s privacy and putting an excessive administrative burden on entrepreneurs.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has come under fire for outright rejecting a proposal to take in 50 Syrian orphans – or even a single refugee until the EU secures its borders. In an interview published on Saturday, he said the Czech Republic had demonstrated its solidarity in other, meaningful ways and has its orphans to worry about.
The number of children adopted in the Czech Republic has dropped by about a
quarter over the past five years, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
data show. Yet in the Czech Republic, more than 20,000 children are in
residential care, including those not up for adoption, one of the highest
per capita rates in Europe.
In 2012, 729 applications for adoptions were submitted and 526 children found new homes. In 2016, the number of applications dropped to 540 and only 377 children were adopted, and the downward trend has continued.
The Office of the Ombudsman has been looking into cases of would-be parents who have waited for years to adopt a child. Under current Czech rules, unmarried couples and partners are not eligible to adopt jointly, which the Office considers a possible violation of human rights.
A march in support of the “traditional family” model took place in
Prague on Saturday, organized in protest against the Prague Pride festival
of the LGBT community due to be held next week.
Its participants, among them politician and church dignitaries, protested against the idea of the state recognizing a family other than the traditional man and woman model.
Prague Pride is also focused on the role of the family this year, drumming up support for a bill which would give gays and lesbians the right to enter into a marriage which would put them on an equal footing with heterosexual couple, including the right to adopt children.
The bill is to be debated in the lower house in the autumn.
The coalition of ANO and the Social Democrats will not support a proposed a
constitutional amendment under which marriage would only be permitted
between men and women, Czech Television reported after a government meeting
on Tuesday morning. The legislation was put forward by an MP for the
Christian Democrats and has support from over 30 deputies from six parties.
Another bill is also set to go before Parliament allowing for marriage between people of the same sex. It also has cross-party support, enjoying the backing of around 45 MPs in the 200-seat lower house.
The first quadruplets in 15 years were born in the Czech Republic last
week. The three girls and a boy – named Anežka, Monika, Klára and
Ondřej – were born at Prague’s Motol teaching hospital,
representatives said on Monday. The births went smoothly and all the babies
are reportedly doing well.
The quadruplets are the 22nd to have been born in this country since 1950. The only quintuplets ever born in the Czech Republic turned five recently.
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