The documentary Children Online shines a highly revealing light on how the lives of kids in the Czech Republic are increasingly shaped, if not dominated, by the internet. The film shows that for today’s generation YouTube videos have largely supplanted television, to be offline is to be an outsider and cyber-grooming is a genuine threat. I discussed Children Online, which has been screened at 20 festivals, with its director, Kateřina Hager. My first question: What had drawn her to the subject to begin with?
“Adopt a Doll, Save a life” is a project launched by the Czech branch of UNICEF fifteen years ago. Over that time it has helped to save the lives of some 30,000 children. Ahead of the Christmas holidays the Czech mission to the United Nations and the Czech branch of UNICEF brought the project to New York, organizing a charity auction at the National Bohemian Hall. I asked the head of the Czech branch of UNICEF Pavla Gomba to tell me more about the event and the project itself.
Jana Počtová’s documentary Non-Parent offers an intimate exploration of unorthodox family life in the Czech Republic today. A follow-up to her earlier film Generation Singles, it tells six stories of non-nuclear family setups, from a lesbian couple who conceive with the help of gay friends to a heterosexual pair who have made a conscious choice not to have children. When Počtová came to our studios the conversation took in everything from the challenges of step-parenting to the experiences of her 99-year-old grandmother. But I first asked the director,
Police are searching for two children who were kidnapped by their parents
from a children’s home in Strakonice, South Bohemia on Friday. The two
brothers, aged four and 10, were removed from the parents by the court.
They were abducted during regular visiting hours in the home.
The parents are now wanted on a European Arrest Warrant, the South Bohemian police spokesman Jiří Matzner told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. According to the police, witnesses saw the parents with both children in Freyung, Germany.
A two-year-old girl who police believe was mistreated by her foster mother
died in hospital in Plzeň on Monday, the Czech News Agency reported. The
woman, who is 25, has been in custody since Saturday and could face up to
12 years in prison if found guilty of grievous bodily harm.
The dead girl and another child were placed in the care of the woman and her husband in July this year. On Thursday the girl was taken into medical care. The second child is now being looked after by another family.
Teens in the Czech Republic get, on average, almost 700 crowns from their parents per month, according to a study focusing on financial literacy conducted by ČSOB bank. According to the survey, for around 12 percent, those funds are not enough. Financial literacy has been a compulsory subject in the classroom for four years.
Czech mother of two Eva Michalakova who was stripped of her parental rights
by a Norwegian court two years ago has filed a complaint with the European
Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The children were taken from their parents in 2011 on suspicion of child abuse. Although no charges were pressed against either of them, Eva Michalakova was stripped of her parental rights and forbidden all contact with her two boys, now aged eight and twelve. All her appeals in Norway were rejected.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has said that it is ready to support Michalakova if the case is heard in Strasbourg.
The Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court has ruled in its recent verdict
that prisoners have right to maintain contact with their children.
The Constitutional Judge overruled a previous verdict issued by a District Court in Brno, which severed ties between a father and his children when the father was imprisoned. It argued that visits to prison would be too traumatic for them. The Constitution Judge stressed in his ruling that prisoners don’t lose their rights to be a parent.
The idea reportedly originated in Denmark where doctors observed health benefits such as improved breathing, regular heartbeat and strong oxygen levels among prematurely-born babies: knitted toy octopuses. Babies observed in neonatal intensive care play with the octopuses the way they would with the umbilical cord if they were still in the womb.
The overall percentage of Czech fathers taking paternity leave is less than two percent, according to the data released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on Friday. Over the past fifteen years, the number of fathers staying at home with their kids has increased by only about one percentage point. Last year, some 5,200 Czech fathers officially took paternity leave. According to the non-profit Liga otevřených mužů or League of Open Men, ten percent of Czech fathers would like to take paternity leave but most of them reject it, stating mainly financial reasons.
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