Children’s rights committee criticises Czech Republic on several points

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has criticised the Czech Republic for its high number of institutionalised children and for the use of so-called “baby-boxes”. While praising the country for certain measures taken for child wellbeing, the committee was critical of many conditions, including the long period of time that children spend in institutionalised care, the lack of assistance for families in need, and the fragmented system of institutions with no central overseer. Among other things, the committee also called upon the country to close its “baby-boxes” – safe and anonymous hospital facilities for leaving unwanted children that have been used 49 times since their introduction in 2005. In the committee’s view, the facilities violate several provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The state, it said, should focus instead on "resolving the causes of child abandonment", support planned parenthood and provide consultation and social aid amid unwanted pregnancies.