Prague, Jan 4 (CTK) – Refugees should be released from the Czech detention centres for foreigners if the conditions of their stay are not dignified or if they fail to be returned to other countries under the Dublin regulation, the Government Council for Human Rights has proposed to the cabinet.
Minister for Human Rights Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) is to submit the proposals at the cabinet meeting next week. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (CSSD) is against these proposals, which the council first presented in October.
The council promotes rules for dealing with refugee children. It says children have the right to go to school and play. Clear information and psychological aid should be available to them and they should not stay in facilities that are not adjusted for them.
Minors without accompanying adults should join their relatives in the European Union as soon as possible. A human approach of the facility´s staff is needed, not a repressive one, the council pointed out.
The Interior Ministry said children were not detained in the facilities, but they only stayed together with the detained adults because their representatives were unable to find anybody else who would care for the children. The ministry said it was not going to make any difference in the attitude to adults with children and adults without children.
The council said legal aid should be available to the detained refugees so that they can defend themselves against possible extradition. Lawyers should regularly visit the facilities, it said.
At present, legal assistance is mostly provided by volunteers.
The council noted that the European Court of Human Rights decided that countries must guarantee dignified conditions even during the migrant crisis. It is against the European Convention on Human Rights to limit the freedom of foreigners if other countries are expected to take them over, the council said.
From July to October, only 19 out of 1004 migrants were returned to Hungary. In this period, from 0.4 to 3.1 percent of the migrants were returned based on the Dublin rules.
The detained illegal migrants are released from the detention facilities after the deadline for their stay expires with an order to leave the country. The foreigners are thus in the same situation as before their detention, except for the fact that they had to cover the costs of their stay in the facility, the council said.
Nearly 3300 foreigners without proper documents have been arrested on Czech territory since mid-June. Three detention centres for foreigners have been operating in the country and about 100 of the 1500 beds are currently occupied. A few months ago the centres were crowded, however.
In October, Czech Ombudsman Anna Sabatova criticised the stays of children in the facility in Bela pod Bezdezem, central Bohemia.
The Interior Ministry insisted that the living conditions in the detention facilities were dignified. Chovanec said the facilities had been gradually improving to suit the foreigners.
Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said previously a general analysis of the conditions in the detention facilities should be worked out.
The Government Council for Human Rights has been a consultative body of the government on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms since 1998. It is comprised of representatives from the civil service and civic society and it has 24 members.