Protecting citizens against abuse of state powerWhen it comes to citizens and their needs, government offices and employees do not always behave as they should. For this reason, Open Society Fund Prague supports individuals and non-profit organizations that work to protect citizens against abuse by the government or by other social institutions in a position of power. OSF supports a diverse range of activities in this area, including police violence, violations of patient rights by healthcare institutions, the potential abuse of personal data, and restrictions on basic civil rights such as freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.
Organizations supported by OSF engage in legal advisory services and pro bono legal representation, as well as strategic litigation and lobbying as regular tools for fighting discriminatory and repressive practices. OSF's main partners in this area are the Human Rights League, the Counselling Centre for Citizenship, Civil and Human Rights and Iuridicum Remedium.
TheHuman Rights League is focused primarily on healthcare and education. The organization is known for its involvement in the issue of mandatory vaccinations for children and equal access to education. Iuridicum Remedium is active in pushing for changes to the electronic communications act, which requires telephone companies to archive recordings of telephone conversations. The organization also successfully lobbied for more than ten changes to the repossession act that have increased the regulation of repossession companies. It has also won several court cases, such as one ruling reducing the court bond for preliminary rulings in civil cases from CZK 50,000 to CZK 10,000. Another recipient of OSF support is the Counselling Centre for Citizenship, Civil and Human Rights, which coordinated efforts by non-governmental organizations during the push for an "anti-discrimination act" in 2009, and which monitors government intervention into the rights of parents, minorities, children, and patients.
We supported: An end to state intervention into parental rights
Thanks to the OSF's consistent support (since 2006) of the Counselling Centre for Citizenship, Civil and Human Rights, the Centre succeeded in turning around the troubling and growing trend of placing children into institutional care for reasons that could be resolved by providing families with direct aid and support. The Centre appealed directly to the European Court for Human Rights, winning two rulings in favor of afflicted parents and preparing background documentation for legislative changes intended to improve this situation.