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Ombudsman: One in 11 Czechs have experience with discrimination

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Brno, Jan 21 (CTK) – One in 11 inhabitants of the Czech Republic has experienced discrimination, most of them as job seekers or at their workplace, Ombudsman Anna Sabatova told CTK yesterday, referring to a public opinion poll the Focus agency has conducted at her request last year.
She said she views the share of the people who have been discriminated against as high.
Next Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies will deal in second reading with a draft amendment to the law on ombudsman, which extends the ombudsman’s powers in protecting people against discrimination.
The Focus poll was conducted on 2,079 people.
Sabatova said the most frequent problem is people’s discrimination over their age. The victims do not believe that they can actively defend their rights, and they often do not know where to seek help.
Sixty-six percent of those polled said they experienced discrimination while seeking a job.
Thirty-eight percent complained about having been discriminated against at work.
Twenty-one percent experienced discrimination while buying goods and services, and 18 percent in the health care area.
Sabatova said her office previously asked judges and administrative bodies whether the ombudsman should be authorised to initiate public lawsuits over discrimination. Sixty-percent of them supported the idea, Sabatova said.
The number of lawsuits concerning discrimination has been low so far. Fears of an uncertain result of the dispute have discouraged victims of discrimination from filing legal actions, Sabatova said.
A higher number of court verdicts in this area may bring more certainty to the victims and make the results of court disputes more predictable for them, Sabatova added.

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