Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
22 October 2010
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
4-22 October 2010
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
1. The Committee considered the combined fourth and fifth periodic report of the Czech Republic (CEDAW/C/CZE/5) at its 958th and 959th meetings on 14 October 2010 (see CEDAW/C/SR.958 and 959). The Committee’s list of issues and questions is contained in CEDAW/C/CZE/Q/5, and the responses of the Czech Republic are contained in CEDAW/C/CZE/Q/5/Add.1.
2. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the State party for its combined fourth and fifth periodic report, which was detailed and concise and followed the Committee’s guidelines for the preparation of reports, with references to the previous concluding observations, although it lacked sex-disaggregated statistics and qualitative data on the situation of women in some of the areas covered by the Convention, in particular in respect of women from disadvantaged groups. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the State party for its detailed written replies to the list of issues and questions raised by the Committee’s pre-session working group and for the oral presentation and the frank responses to the questions posed by the Committee.
3. The Committee commends the State party for its delegation, which was headed by the Director of the Human Rights Office at the Office of the Government, and included representatives of different Government ministries and departments with expertise in the areas covered by the Convention. The Committee appreciates the open constructive dialogue that took place between the delegation and the members of the Committee.
4. The Committee welcomes the State party’s recognition of the positive contribution made by non-governmental women’s and human rights organizations in the implementation of the Convention in the State party.
5. The Committee notes with satisfaction the ratification by the State party, on 28 September 2009, of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
6. The Committee also notes with appreciation that, on 21 July 2009, the State party ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
7. The Committee further welcomes the adoption and implementation since the consideration of the last report of several laws aimed at eliminating discrimination and violence against women, including:
(a) The Act on Equal Treatment and Legal Means of Protection against Discrimination and on the Amendment to Certain Laws (“Anti-discrimination Act”, 2009), which prohibits discrimination on grounds of, inter alia, sex and sexual orientation in areas such as access to goods and services, education, employment, social protection, housing and culture, and assigns the role of national equality body to the Ombudsman;
(b) The entry into force on 1 January 2007 of the new Labour Code (Act No. 262/2006 Coll.) which prohibits discrimination in existing labour relations, requires employers to ensure equal treatment of all employees as regards their working conditions, remuneration for work, vocational training and promotion, and enables employers to adopt temporary special measures aiming at the achievement of equal representation of men and women;
(b) The enforcement of restraint orders authorizing the police to expel perpetrators of domestic violence for up to 10 days from a dwelling and the establishment of 16 intervention centres in all regions of the State party, where women victims of domestic violence can receive immediate psychological, social and legal assistance; and
(c) The introduction of the criminal offence of stalking by Act No. 40/2009 amending the Penal Code.
8. The Committee notes with appreciation the various programmes adopted with the aim of accelerating elimination of discrimination against women and promoting gender equality such as the Government Priorities and Procedures in Promoting Equal Opportunities for Men and Women for 2010; the National Action Plan for the Creation of Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities for 2010-2014; the National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (2008-2011); and the teaching assistant programme at nursery, elementary and upper secondary schools funding teaching assistants for socially disadvantages children, including girls.
9. The Committee commends the State party for having translated into the Czech language and for having posted on the website of the Government Council for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men the Committee’s general recommendations nos. 1-10, 13, 19 and 23-25. It also welcomes the State party’s plan to publish bilingual versions of all general recommendations in 2011.
Principal areas of concern and recommendations
10. The Committee recalls the obligation of the State party to systematically and continuously implement all the provisions of the Convention, and views the concerns and recommendations identified in the present concluding observations as requiring the priority attention of the State party between now and the submission of the next periodic report. Consequently, the Committee urges the State party to focus on those areas in its implementation activities and to include, in its next periodic report, information on action taken and results achieved. The Committee calls upon the State party to submit the present concluding observations to all relevant ministries and government departments, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, as well as to the judiciary, so as to ensure their full implementation.
11. While reaffirming that the Government has the primary responsibility and is particularly accountable for the full implementation of the obligations of the State party under the Convention, the Committee stresses that the Convention is binding on all branches of Government. It invites the State party to encourage both chambers of its Parliament, in line with their procedures, where appropriate, to take the necessary steps with regard to the implementation of the present concluding observations and the Government’s next reporting process under the Convention.
Visibility of the Convention and its Optional Protocol
12. The Committee reiterates the concerns expressed in its previous concluding observations (see CEDAW/C/CZE/CO/3) that, while the Convention takes precedence over national law in the State party, in legal practice, it has not been given the central position as a legally binding human rights instrument and the basis for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in all fields covered by the Convention. The Committee also remains concerned that the provisions of the Convention have not been invoked in court proceedings, neither in the Constitutional Court nor in other courts, which indicates that there is inadequate knowledge in society in general, among women themselves and the judiciary, about the rights of women under the Convention and its Optional Protocol, the concept of both formal and substantive equality of women and men and the Committee’s general recommendations.
13. The Committee, reiterating its previous recommendation (see CEDAW/C/CZE/CO/3, para. 8), calls on the State party to base its efforts to eliminate discrimination against women on the Convention as a legally binding human rights instrument. The Committee also reiterates its recommendation that the State party ensure that the Convention and its Optional Protocol, as well as the Committee’s general recommendations, are made an integral part of legal education and training of judges, lawyers and prosecutors, with a view to enabling them to directly apply the provisions of the Convention and to interpret national legal provisions in light of the Convention. It also reiterates its request for the State party to raise awareness among women of their rights under the Convention and about the communications and inquiry procedures provided by its Optional Protocol.
Legal complaint mechanisms
14. The Committee notes the low number of lawsuits for sex discrimination filed in the State party’s courts and that women often prefer out-of-court settlements due to, inter alia, the financial cost of litigation and the difficulty to provide proof of incidents of sex discrimination.
15. The Committee recommends that the State party provide free legal aid to women without sufficient means to pay for legal assistance in anti-discrimination proceedings, in cases where the interests of justice so require. It also recommends that the State party consider reversing the burden of proof in civil proceedings concerning gender discrimination and that it provide systematic training on the application of legislation prohibiting sex discrimination in the light of its obligations under the Convention, including the Anti-discrimination Act, the Labour Code and the Employment Act, to judges, lawyers, labour inspectors, NGOs and employers.
16. The Committee observes various changes in the national institutional gender equality structure during the period since the consideration of the previous report. It is concerned that the discontinuance of the position of Minister for Human Rights and National Minorities and the reassignment of the responsibility for gender equality to the Government Commissioner for Human Rights, who is not a cabinet member, may have weakened the State party’s institutional machinery for the advancement of women. It is also concerned about the reportedly weak mandate and insufficient resources of the equal treatment unit of the Ombudsman, whose mandate was extended to include the function of national equality body. The Committee is further concerned at reports about the weak inspection mandate and inadequate human and financial resources of the Gender Equality Unit under the Government Commissioner for Human Rights, the lack of power and impact of the Government Council for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, and the junior level and part-time assignment of the gender focal points in the different Ministries.
17. The Committee, recalling its general recommendation no. 6 and the guidance provided in the Beijing Platform for Action, in particular regarding the necessary conditions for the effective functioning of national mechanisms, calls on the State party to consider re-establishing the position of a specialized Minister with responsibility for gender equality and with a separate departmental budget; reinforcing the mandates and the human, financial and technical resources of its gender equality institutions in order to ensure their effective functioning; and strengthening the mandate and funding of the Office of the Ombudsman as national equality body so as to enable it to bring cases of sex discrimination to the courts and to represent alleged victims in court proceedings.
Temporary special measures
18. The Committee notes the lack of temporary special measures, such as temporary special measures to enhance the participation of women in political and public life and in the labour market. It takes note of the State party’s explanation that the draft electoral law, which required a minimum of 30 percent of women on candidate lists of political parties for elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the regional assemblies and the Prague City Assembly, did not meet consensus because of disagreement regarding its constitutionality. The Committee also notes the failure of most Ministries to formulate concrete temporary special measures to increase the representation of women in decision-making positions, as well as the lack of awareness on the part of employers about the possibility to adopt temporary special measures under the Labour Code to enhance the representation of women in the labour market.
19. The Committee calls on the State party to strengthen the use of temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25, in areas covered by the Convention in which women are underrepresented or disadvantaged. It recommends that the State party include a specific provision in its Constitution or other appropriate legislation which unequivocally states that temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality between men and women shall not be considered discriminatory. In this regard, the Committee recalls that article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention forms an integral part of the law of the State party. The Committee also recommends that the State party raise awareness among parliamentarians, government officials, employers and the general public about the necessity of temporary special measures and requests it to provide comprehensive information on the use of such temporary special measures in relation to various provisions of the Convention, and on their impact in its next periodic report.
Stereotypes and discriminatory practices
20. While noting the efforts undertaken by the State party to eradicate patriarchal stereotyped attitudes regarding the roles and tasks of women and men in the family and in society at large, the Committee remains concerned about the persistence of such stereotypes which are strongly conditioned by traditional views, especially in areas such as the labour market, the health sector, academia and politics. The Committee is particularly concerned about the gender stereotypes reflected in discriminatory attitudes of employers, who frequently reject women candidates on account of their actual or potential parenthood or are unwilling to offer them part-time employment or flexible working arrangements to enable them to balance work and family life.
21. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party further strengthen its efforts to address persistent and deep-rooted gender stereotypes that perpetuate discrimination against women. It encourages the State party to allocate sufficient funds and intensify its cooperation with civil society and women’s organizations, political parties, education professionals, the private sector and the media in order to disseminate targeted information to specific audiences such as decision makers, employers, disadvantaged groups of women, the youth and the general public, and to develop a more comprehensive and wide-ranging strategy across all sectors to eliminate gender-discriminatory stereotypes, specifically targeting rural areas and disadvantaged groups of women. The Committee recommends that the State party organize awareness-raising campaigns to sensitize employers and employees on the topic of flexible work arrangements for women and men.
Violence against women
22. The Committee acknowledges the progress made by the State party in combating violence against women, including domestic and sexual violence through, inter alia, the adoption of criminal law provisions and the introduction of restraint orders and intervention centres. However, the Committee remains concerned about the under-reporting of domestic violence and rape, the low prosecution and conviction rates, lenient sentences, limited access to legal aid for victims of domestic or sexual violence claiming only immaterial damage, the lack of victim assistance and protection, and of trained professionals and experts, including forensic experts, as well as the lack of gender-specific statistical data in relation to domestic and sexual violence. It also remains concerned about the length of maintenance or alimony proceedings against an abusive spouse and about the preference of courts for mediation and for shared custody for children even in cases where the mother is a victim of domestic violence. The Committee remains concerned that the definition of rape in the new Criminal Code may not cover any sexual act committed against a non-consenting person, including in the absence of active resistance.
23. In accordance with its general recommendation no. 19 and the recommendations contained in its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CZE/CO/3, para. 16), the Committee urges the State party to intensify its efforts by taking effective measures to prevent, prosecute and assist women victims of domestic and sexual violence. It calls on the State party to adopt its draft national action plan on the prevention of domestic violence; amend its Code of Criminal Procedure to ensure access to legal aid for victims claiming only immaterial damage; enhance victim assistance and protection by providing training for the police, judges, prosecutors, social workers and health personnel on standardized procedures in dealing with victims; strengthen cooperation with and funding for non-governmental organizations providing assistance to victims of domestic and/or sexual violence; further increase the number or capacity of shelters for battered women and girls; use appropriate recording equipment and interrogation records in court proceedings to avoid re-victimization and unnecessary confrontation of victims with perpetrators; collect sex-specific data on domestic and sexual violence, including on the number of women who die as a result of such violence; and provide information on the number of reported incidents, prosecutions, convictions, as well as on the sentences imposed on perpetrators and the compensation provided to victims in its next periodic report. The Committee also recommends that the State party take effective measures to reduce the length of maintenance and alimony proceedings, ensure that courts take into account the vulnerable position of the abused partner when deciding on the appropriateness of mediation and shared custody for children, and review the definition of rape in the new Criminal Code so as to ensure that it covers any non-consensual sexual assault, including in the absence of resistance by the victim.
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
24. The Committee notes the efforts by the State party to combat trafficking in women and girls, especially for purposes of sexual and economic exploitation, including forced labour, through legislative, policy and institutional measures. Such measures include the adoption of a National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings for the period 2008-2011, the Programme of Support and Protection of Human Trafficking Victims, and efforts to regulate the criminal responsibility of legal entities for conduct punishable under international treaties on trafficking in human beings. However, the Committee is concerned about gaps in the systematic identification of victims of trafficking, the exclusion from the Support and Protection Programme of victims who are unable or unwilling to cooperate with the prosecution authorities, and the potential negative impact on the timely identification of and assistance to victims of the inclusion of trafficking in the new Criminal Code in the list of crimes which must be reported by everyone, including NGO workers. The Committee is also concerned about the low number of criminal convictions for trafficking in women and girls, as well as about the vulnerability of Roma and migrant women and girls to become victims of trafficking, especially for purposes of forced prostitution and forced labour. It notes with concern that the State party has still not ratified the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
25. The Committee recommends that the State party adopt and implement a standardized policy for all relevant governmental bodies to identify victims of trafficking in human beings; provide regular training to officials dealing with trafficked persons on the identification of and assistance to victims and on the referral to the asylum system of those potentially in need of international protection; review the Programme of Support and Protection of Human Trafficking Victims to ensure that victims receive the necessary assistance and protection irrespective of their cooperation with the prosecution authorities; and consider exempting workers of organizations assisting victims of trafficking from the notification duty under the new Criminal Code. It calls on the State party to ensure that perpetrators of crimes related to trafficking, especially for purposes of forced prostitution and forced labour are brought to justice, that sufficient shelters are available for victims of trafficking, and that NGOs working with victims of all forms of trafficking receive adequate funding, including from the State party’s budget, whenever the task of assisting and catering for the needs of trafficking victims de facto has been delegated to them. The Committee also recommends that the State party design and implement preventive measures specifically targeted at Roma and migrant women and girls, including awareness-raising campaigns on trafficking, forced prostitution and forced labour for those working with Roma communities, and strengthen cooperation with countries of origin and destination. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party consider, as a matter of priority, ratifying the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, as well as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The Committee also recommends that the State party take into account the Recommended Principles on Human Rights and Human Trafficking of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (E/2002/68/Add.1) in the design of policies to combat trafficking in human beings, especially women and girls.
Participation in political and public life
26. The Committee remains concerned that women, let alone Roma women, continue to be significantly under-represented at all levels of decision-making, including in both chambers of Parliament, regional and local assemblies, the Government, especially at the levels of minister and vice-minister, in posts of mayor and Ambassador and in other senior positions in the public administration and the diplomatic service, as well as in managerial positions in companies owned or controlled by the State party.
27. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party take effective measures, including temporary special measures, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation no. 25, and set concrete goals, targets and time frames to increase the representation of women, including Roma women, in legislative assemblies, the Government, and in the public administration, especially at senior levels. The Committee calls on the State party to include such temporary special measures in the internal rules and regulations of each government department, consider adopting statutory quotas such as in the draft Electoral Code, and provide incentives for decision-makers who comply as well as adequate sanctions for those who fail to comply with such measures or quotas.
28. The Committee notes with concern that women and girls are starkly under-represented in technical schools and scientific research, as well as in university teaching positions. It also notes with concern the disproportionately high number of Roma girls who drop out of or fail to attend school, especially in socially excluded areas, as well as the segregation of many Roma girls in schools for pupils with mild mental disabilities.
29. The Committee recommends that the State party give priority to recruiting women as professors and assistant professors, and promote gender-atypical career choices. The Committee urges the State party to make the National Action Plan on inclusive education fully operational and to reinforce its programmes to include Roma girls in mainstream education, such as the teaching assistants programme and the special grant scheme aimed at promoting the participation of Roma girls and boys at the secondary level. It also recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to reduce school drop-out and absenteeism of Roma girls and to educate teachers on countering persistent prejudices against Roma and negative gender stereotypes, as well as on gender equality policies.
30. The Committee is concerned about the low employment rate of women, horizontal and vertical segregation in the labour market, where women are concentrated in traditionally female dominated employment sectors and in the informal sector and are underrepresented in managerial and decision-making positions, the wide gender wage gap, and the lack of childcare and pre-school facilities for children aged 0 to 6, as well as of flexible work arrangements which would enable women and men to balance work and family life and facilitate their return to the labour market after taking parental leave. The Committee is also concerned about the weak position in the labour market of women facing multiple forms of discrimination such as Roma women and refugee and migrant women, as well as about the limited capacity of the Labour Inspectorate to combat sex discrimination.
31. The Committee calls on the State party to intensify its efforts and to adopt temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation no. 25, aimed at achieving de facto equal opportunities for men and women, including Roma women, in the labour market. It recommends that the State party include concrete policies, targets and indicators in the Government Priorities and Procedures for Promoting Equal Opportunities for Women and Men to reduce horizontal and vertical segregation in the labour market; adopt a long-term strategy and improve cooperation with the local authorities responsible for childcare facilities; remove administrative barriers and introduce incentives for the creation of non-commercial childcare facilities and mini-kindergartens; review the wage structures in female-dominated professions; raise awareness among employers on the importance of flexible work arrangements for women’s re-entry into the labour market; reconsider introducing special paternity leave to encourage fathers to participate in childcare; strengthen the capacity of the Labour Inspectorate; and provide in its next periodic report information on the number of cases of wage and other forms of gender discrimination detected by labour inspectors. The Committee also recommends that the State party closely monitor the situation of women working in the informal sector.
32. The Committee is concerned that migrant women risk losing their legal status in the State party when going on maternity and parental leave, as their residence permit depends on an ongoing employment contract, which further increases their risk of being exposed to abusive employment practices. It is also concerned that Act No. 326/1999 on the Residence of Foreign Nationals may exclude migrant women without permanent residence or employment, as well as their children, from access to public health insurance and health care services.
33. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that migrant women retain their legal status when taking maternity and parental leave, i.e. by extending the duration of their work permit for the period of parental leave, that the labour inspectorate investigate abusive labour practices against migrant women and labour offices provide job counselling and re-qualification to them prior to obtaining permanent residence, and that all migrant women and their children are covered by health insurance and have access to affordable health care services, irrespective of their residence status and employment.
34. While noting that by Government resolution no. 1424 of 23 November 2009, the Prime Minister expressed regret about “the instances of errors” found to have occurred in the performance of sterilizations in contravention of the relevant Ministry of Health directive, the Committee notes with concern that the State party has not implemented the 2005 recommendations of the Ombudsman, endorsed by the Committee in 2006, to adopt without delay legislative changes with regard to sterilization, including a clear definition of free, prior and informed consent in cases of sterilization and to financially compensate the victims of coercive or non-consensual sterilizations performed on, in particular Roma women and women with mental disabilities. The Committee also notes with concern that most of the compensation claims brought by victims of forced sterilizations were dismissed because of the courts’ interpretation that the statute of limitations bars such claims after three years from the time of injury rather than the time of discovery of the sterilization.
35. The Committee, in accordance with its previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/CZE/CO/3, para. 24), its general recommendations nos. 19, 21 and 24, and the recommendations in the Final Statement dated 23 December 2005 of the Ombudsman in the matter of sterilizations performed in contravention of the law and proposed remedial measures, urges the State party: to adopt legislative changes clearly defining the requirements of free, prior and informed consent with regard to sterilizations, in accordance with relevant international standards, including doctors’ obligation to inform the patient in written and oral form about the nature of the sterilization, its permanent consequences, potential risks and available alternatives, as well as a period of at least seven days between providing such information and expressing the free, prior and informed consent; review the three-year time limit in the statute of limitations for bringing compensation claims in cases of coercive or non-consensual sterilizations in order to extend it and, as a minimum, ensure that such time limit starts from the time of discovery of the sterilization by the victim rather than the time of injury; consider establishing an ex-gratia compensation procedure for victims of coercive or non-consensual sterilizations whose claims have lapsed; provide all victims with the necessary information, in particular access to their medical records; and investigate and punish illegal past practices of coercive or non-consensual sterilizations.
36. While acknowledging the need to ensure maximum safety for mothers and newborns during childbirth, as well as the State party’s low perinatal mortality rate, the Committee takes note of reports about interference with women’s reproductive health choices in hospitals, including the routine application of medical interventions, reportedly often without the woman’s free, prior and informed consent or any medical indication, a rapid increase in the caesarean section rate, separation of newborns from their mothers for up to several hours without health-related reasons, refusal to release the mother and child from hospital before 72 hours after childbirth, and patronizing attitudes of doctors which impede the exercise by mothers of their freedom of choice. It also notes reports about women’s limited options for delivering their babies outside hospitals.
37. The Committee recommends that the State party consider accelerate the adoption of a law on patients’ rights, including women’s reproductive rights; adopt a protocol of normal birth care ensuring respect for patients’ rights and avoiding unnecessary medical interventions; ensure that all interventions are performed only with the woman’s free, prior and informed consent; monitor the quality of care in maternity hospitals; provide mandatory training for all health professionals on patients’ rights and related ethical standards; continue raising patients’ awareness of their rights, including by disseminating information; and consider taking steps to make midwife-assisted childbirth outside hospitals a safe and affordable option for women.
Economic and social benefits
38. The Committee notes the lack of information in relation to article 13, such as information on the coverage and benefits of the contributory and non-contributory social security schemes, as well as on the extent of poverty in the State party, having specific regard to the situation of women, including Roma women, migrant women and women with disabilities.
39. The Committee requests the State party to provide detailed information, including gender-specific data disaggregated by age, rural/urban area, ethnic background and health and disability status, on the coverage and benefits of contributory and non-contributory social security schemes, including on possible gaps, as well as on the extent of poverty in the State party, having specific regard to the situation of women, including Roma women, migrant women and women with disabilities.
Marriage and family relations
40. The Committee notes with concern the lack of legal recognition of de-facto unions in the State party and its potential adverse impact on women’s acquisition of rights during and on their entitlements upon dissolution of such unions. The Committee also notes the lack of information provided by the State party on its legislation concerning the distribution of property upon divorce and on gender-based economic disparities between spouses resulting from sex segregation in the labour market and from women’s greater share in unpaid work.
41. The Committee, recalling its general recommendation no. 21, recommends that the State party amend its legislation to recognize de facto unions, with a view to ensuring the same rights and responsibilities to both partners within and upon dissolution of such unions. It also recommends that the State party undertake research on the economic consequences of divorce on both spouses, as well as on gender-based economic disparities between spouses, and requests it to include information on the outcome of such research in its next periodic report.
Social exclusion of disadvantaged groups of women
42. The Committee remains concerned about the marginalized situation of certain disadvantaged groups of women, in particular Roma women, migrant women and women with disabilities, facing multiple forms of discrimination in all areas of political, economic and social life, including participation in public life and decision-making, education, employment and health.
43. The Committee recommends that the State party collect disaggregated data on the situation of women facing multiple forms of discrimination such as Roma women, migrant women and women with disabilities; take effective measures, including temporary special measures, to eliminate such discrimination; set specific targets, indicators, implementation time frames, monitoring mechanisms and sanctions; and allocate adequate resources to achieve such measures, with a view to accelerating the realization of de facto equality for such disadvantaged groups of women, in particular in the areas of participation in public life, health, education and employment.
Amendment to article 20, paragraph 1, of the Convention
44. The Committee encourages the State party to accelerate the acceptance of the amendment to article 20, paragraph 1, of the Convention concerning the meeting time of the Committee, in relation to which the State party indicated that a proposal has been prepared by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be submitted to the Government and to Parliament for approval.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
45. The Committee urges the State party, in the implementation of its obligations under the Convention, to fully utilize the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which reinforce the provisions of the Convention, and requests the State party to include information thereon in its next periodic report.
Millennium Development Goals
46. The Committee emphasizes that full and effective implementation of the Convention is indispensable for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It calls for the integration of a gender perspective and an explicit reflection of the provisions of the Convention in all efforts aimed at the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and requests the State party to include information thereon in its next periodic report.
47. The Committee requests the wide dissemination in the Czech Republic of the present concluding observations in order to make the people, including Government officials, politicians, parliamentarians and women’s and human rights organizations, aware of the steps that have been taken to ensure the de jure and de facto equality of women, as well as the further steps that are required in that regard. The Committee recommends that dissemination should include dissemination at the local community level. The State party is encouraged to organize a series of meetings to discuss progress achieved in the implementation of the present observations. The Committee requests the State party to continue to disseminate widely, in particular to women’s and human rights organizations, the Committee’s general recommendations, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly on the theme “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”.
Ratification of other treaties
48. The Committee notes that the adherence of the State party to the nine major international human rights instruments 1 would enhance the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms in all aspects of life. The Committee therefore encourages the State party to consider ratifying the treaties to which it is not yet a party, i.e. the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Follow-up to concluding observations
49. The Committee requests the State party to provide, within two years, written information on the steps undertaken to implement the recommendations contained in paragraphs 23 and 35 above.
Preparation of the next report
50. The Committee requests the State party to ensure the wide participation of all ministries and public bodies in the preparation of its next report, as well as to consult a variety of women’s and human rights organizations during that phase.
51. The Committee requests the State party to respond to the concerns expressed in the present concluding observations in its next periodic report under article 18 of the Convention. The Committee invites the State party to submit its next periodic report in October 2014.
52. The Committee invites the State party to follow the harmonized guidelines on reporting under the international human rights treaties, including guidelines on a common core document and treaty-specific documents, that were approved at the fifth inter-committee meeting of the human rights treaty bodies, in June 2006 (see HRI/MC/2006/3 and Corr.1). The treaty-specific reporting guidelines adopted by the Committee at its fortieth session, in January 2008, must be applied in conjunction with the harmonized reporting guidelines on a common core document. Together, they constitute the harmonized guidelines on reporting under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The treaty-specific document should be limited to 40 pages, while the updated common core document should not exceed 80 pages.
1 The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.