Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Insider: Human rights commissioner threatens to quit if gov't cuts staff

13 November 2012

Prague, Nov 12 (CTK) - The Czech cabinet plans to reduce the Government Office's human rights section whose staff are to be replaced by clerks dealing with subsidy distribution, the daily Insider writes yesterday, adding that the government's human rights commissioner threatens to leave her post.

The planned austerity step would strip the commissioner, Monika Simunkova, of all aides. If so, she said she would leave her post.

According to Insider, the subsidy distribution agenda will be transferred to the Government Office after the allegedly planned abolition of the Local Development Ministry.

The so far secret plan has been proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake (LIDEM). Now it is being commented on by other ministries and government bodies.

Simunkova says her post of human rights commissioner is to be preserved but in fact without any executive staff which now comprise about 50 people.

"I've voiced resolute disagreement with this. I think it would also destroy the long-built human rights agenda...without any money being saved," Simunkova is quoted as saying.

The reorganisation is to rest in non-profit sector experts in the government's human rights body being placed at various ministries.

Observers, nevertheless, point out that the human rights section is largely financed from structural funds that can be hardly used if the section's staff were "distributed" among more ministries.

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