Pillar I – state duty to protect human rights

Protection of social service clients [pages 15-16]

Implements Principle 5

States often delegate the performance of some of their tasks to private entities, though this does not relieve them of their human rights commitments. In fact, they must find ways of meeting their human rights duties even in these circumstances.

There are many situations where the roles of the state are transferred to a private entity. In order to protect human rights, increased attention needs to be paid, for example, to the social services sector. Clients in receipt of residence-based social services are particularly vulnerable and in many respects are dependent on the support and care provided within the scope of social services. The state should make sure that checks on respect for human rights are run especially for these types of social services. The same conclusion has been reached, for instance, by the Ombudsman in her reports on visits to retirement homes and other facilities.

Current state of play:

  • The state runs checks on social service providers upon registration and during the provision of services. Control mechanisms also centre on checking respect for the human rights of social service clients.
  • The law has yet to properly address and penalise the “illegal” unregistered provision of social services. Legislative instruments are being phased in that will make it possible to put a stop to the provision of such services. In August 2016, an amendment to the Social Services Act took effect that established the possibility of carrying out checks on natural and legal persons who have not been issued with a registration decision if there are grounds to suspect that those persons are providing social services without authorisation. The penalty for providing such services was also increased from CZK 1 million to CZK 2 million.
  • An amendment has been proposed that will require delegated municipal authorities/military district authorities to actively seek out illegal social service providers and immediately report their suspicions that such illegal services are being provided in their territory to the competent municipal authority of a municipality with extended powers and to the regional authority.

Tasks:

  • Issue implementing legislation to establish staffing, material and technical standards forming a basis, in particular, for the registration of social services.

Coordinator: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Deadline: The material and technical conditions of residence-based social services by 31 December 2018; the staffing conditions of social services by 31 December 2020

  • Increase the methodological support for inspections of social service provision.

Coordinator: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Deadline: Running

  • Deliver a more precise legislative definition of penalties in situations where the rights of social service clients are infringed.

Coordinator: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Deadline: 31 December 2020

  • Increase staffing levels at the registering body and increase the numbers of checks carried out.

Coordinator: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Deadline: Running