Czechia to get Children’s Ombudsman in 2024

Czechia is one of the last countries in the European Union which still lacks a Children’s Ombudsman. The respective amendment to the law is currently being finalized and the post should be established early next year.

Children's rights issues are now handled by the Office of the Public Defender of Human Right’s, the national Ombudsman for adults. Deputy Ombudsman Vít Alexander Schorm says that last year, they received about 60 complaints from minors.

Vít Alexander Schorm | Photo: Czech Radio

"For instance, we get complaints from children in children’s homes. They complain about the in-house rules, the treatment they receive or the living conditions there. We either deal with this on a case by case basis or we go to the home in question for an unannounced visit as part of the national maltreatment prevention program. “

Fourteen-year-old Lucie wrote to say that the children's home where she lives would not allow her to apply to the secondary school of her choice. Child welfare workers visited the home and everything was finally arranged to Lucie's satisfaction. Other children call or write to report neglect, domestic violence or mental and physical abuse.

Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková | Photo: René Volfík,

The government's Human Rights Commissioner, Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková, says that while the Ombudsman’s Office is doing a good job, the agenda calls for an independent defender of children’s rights:

"The system of children's rights protection in Czechia is quite fragmented. We lack a coordination mechanism and an umbrella organization. A Children's Ombudsman would strengthen children's rights in our country."

Michal Šalomoun | Photo: Pirátská strana/Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY-SA 2.0

The Minister for Legislation Michal Šalomoun says the draft law on a Children’s Ombudsman is being finalized and the position should be set up next year. However, he says that in view of the state of the country’s public finances it is unlikely that the Children’s Ombudsman would have a separate office and must somehow be incorporated into the Office of the Ombudsman, housed in the Moravian metropolis of Brno.

Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková says that while this is acceptable, the Children’s Ombudsman must be an independent entity and must be afforded a team of helpers, including children.

“We envisage that the Children's Ombudsman will create an advisory board in which children will be represented. It would be good to include children from different backgrounds, including those with special needs. "

This year, the Ombudsman's website for children,, was given a makeover to make it more user-friendly. It includes videos featuring a young blogger, who explains how the office works and what it can do for children.