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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Czech-Republic

Czech-Republic

4. Social Inclusion

4.1 General context

On this page
  1. Main challenges to social inclusion
  2. Definitions and concepts

Main challenges to social inclusion

There is no general (policy) agreement on the main challenges to social inclusion of young people in the Czech Republic.

Youth Strategy 2014-2020 stresses only equal opportunities for young people as a horizontal priority and sets a strategic goal of facilitating the inclusion of children and young people with fewer opportunities.

Social Inclusion Strategy 2014-2020 does not set Youth as a specific target group, but provides 7 general areas supporting social inclusion (e.g. employment, access to housing, access to health care, etc.).

Based on various policy documents we can identify specific groups of young people at risk of social exclusion.

As traditional groups, the following are discussed:

  • Young people with criminal record and behaviour
  • Youth with disabilities
  • Youth with special needs
  • Youth from families with low income
  • Youth from families with lower level of finished education
  • Youth from families with criminal record
  • Youth from families with domestic violence

As newly discussed and urgent groups the following are discussed:

Roma youth

  • Problematic inclusion of young people in education, labour market, living or even health care
  • Problematic access of Roma Youth to Education (e.g. The judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the case D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic in 2007 showed that Roma children often have limited access toward mainstream Education). 
  • Systemic inclusion of this group is problematic as data differs according to the ascribed status and voluntary subscribed status.

Youth living in socially excluded areas

  • According to the Study on Socially excluded areas in the Czech Republic, conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in 2014-2015 there are some alarming findings:
    • 606 socially excluded location exist in the Czech Republic
    • 95 000 – 115 000 people are living in socially excluded locations
    • 43% of their inhabitants are less than 15 years old
    • 75% of the inhabitants of those areas have only elementary education
    • 80-85% are unemployed
    • Almost half of the inhabitants of socially excluded areas are young people and their access to basic principles of democratic society is jeopardised
    • The inhabitants come not only from ethnic minorities but also from the majority and some are even foreigners

Young families and Single-mothers

  • Family policy and children issues and rights are essential parts of the Social Inclusion Strategy 2014-2020
  • Young families might face obstacles in their effort to fully integrate into society, especially regarding housing and childcare
  • Housing
  • Childcare
    • Pre-school care is of insufficient capacity
    • In the period 1996-2013, the number of kindergartens was reduced from 6 700 to 5 000 while the number of children was maintained (around 350 000)
    • Negative effect on parents who must take care of children while staying at home
    • Negative effect on children who do not develop in the collective of other children, especially dangerous for children already handicapped by a socially excluded background

Youth with various Sexuality and Gender

Youth cared for within the institutional care

 

The following specific issues were raised as well:

Digital gap among young people

  • Only marginally studied phenomenon
  • Partial data indicates possible negative implications of digital gap for young people from socially excluded environment, as reported by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:
  • 'Within the ICLIS 2013 study mapping the digital competency of elementary schools, 8thgrade Czech children performed perfectly, compared to other countries (placed 1st). However a strong tie between digital competency and socio-economic status was proved. Especially kids coming from socially excluded backgrounds might be threatened by low digital competency. In light of the spreading digitalisation, omitting this age category might have negative effects such as deepening the social exclusion of children with digital illiteracy.'

  • International PISA research
    • Verified the influence of social background on computer literacy of young people
    • Proved a strong connection between computer equipment in family and level of computer literacy of young people

Distrust toward political institutions and thus low formal participation of young people

Low citizenship and legal literacy

Youth Radicalisation

  • Evolution of xenophobic and potentially radical rhetoric
  • Due to recent events, esp. migration crisis and terrorist attacks within EU
  • Might negatively influence the youth and lead to their radicalisation
  • Spreading of radical ideology by meetings, marches/parades, happenings and on the Internet
  • In 2015, the Czech Republic detected an increase in criminal activity with racial motives for the age category 21-29 years

There are no regular national surveys on young people's social inclusion. EU indicators for social inclusion are monitored by the Czech Statistical Office within the EU-SILC survey.

            

Definitions and concepts

Young people with fewer opportunities (mladí lidé s omezenými příležitostmi)

'Young people who have a disadvantage in comparison with their peers because they are dealing with one or more obstacles e.g. social obstacles, economical obstacles, affliction, learning difficulties, cultural differences, health problems, geographical obstacles, etc. In specific contexts these situations prevent young people from effective access to formal and non-formal learning, transnational mobility and participation, active citizenship, empowerment and inclusion in society.' (Youth strategy 2014-2020)

Social inclusion

  • Defined in Act no. 108/2006 Coll. on Social Services, as amended
  • Social inclusion is a process ensuring that people who are socially excluded or at risk of social exclusion will reach possibilities and opportunities, helping them to fully participate in the economic, social and cultural life of society and live in a manner that is considered as ordinary in the society.
  • General goals of the social inclusion in the Czech Republic are thus:
    • Ensuring participation in employment and equal access to all resources, rights, goods and services
    • Preventing the risk of social exclusion
    • Helping the most vulnerable
    • Mobilisation of all relevant actors

Definition of a socially excluded area (sociálně vyloučené oblasti) used by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:

'As socially excluded areas we mean a place (house, street, neighbourhood) with a concentration of persons with social exclusion indicators. These places are symbolically called “bad neighbourhoods” or “undesired addresses” etc.

Social exclusion is defined as gradual, escalating exclusion from full participation in social, material and even symbolic resources produced, shared and used by society to ensure good living conditions, organisation of social life and participate in decision making.

Social exclusion is characterised as a convergence of factors substantially limiting access to: (1) labour market, (2) public, social and education services, (3) social environment, (4) personal crisis solutions (debt, illness, etc.) and (5) political participation. Ethnicity plays a specific role in social exclusion.

- In 2015 in the Czech Republic there lived 95 000 - 115 000 socially excluded persons concentrated in 606 socially excluded areas.

- Compared to 2006 this means an increase between 40 to 50 per cent in the number of inhabitants. Number of socially excluded areas increased by 80 per cent in the same period.

Person with health disadvantages (osoba zdravotně znevýhodněná)

  • Maintained ability to perform systematic work however their ability to perform present job is limited
  • Caused by long-term unfavourable health lasting longer than 1 year and limiting physical, sensual or mental abilities
  • Definition stated in Act no. 435/2004 Coll. Employment Law

Endangered child

  • Elemental, biological, mental, emotional, social or spiritual needs of the child are not satisfied or are in danger of not being satisfied

Students with special educational needs

  • Defined in the Educational Act no. 561/2004 Coll. as amended
  • Child with health disability; health handicap or social handicap 
    • Health disability (zdravotní postižení) = mental, visual, hearing impairment, speech impediment, multiple disabilities, autism and learning and behavioural disorders
    • Health disadvantage (zdravotní znevýhodnění) = health weakening, long-term illness, light health issues leading to learning and behaving disorders that must be taken into consideration in education
    • Social disadvantage (sociální znevýhodnění)
      • Social environment with low social and cultural status, endangered by socially pathological events
      • Decreed or assigned institutional upbringing
      • Asylum seeker status or complementary protection or party to international protection proceedings

The Czech legal system often uses undefined terms or terms with more than one definition: