Human rights and equal treatment – fighting against discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion or opinion.
Across the political spectrum, we can hear voices claiming that the Czech Republic has no problems with violation of human rights. However, we can see an increase of hatred and hostility towards people who are somehow different. We face discrimination and attacks motivated by racial prejudice. Such symptoms of violation of the right to freedom are becoming more frequent in the political and public discourse and they are widely shared by large groups of population. In democratic society, every person has the right to freedom of religion, sexual orientation and must not be a target of hatred for their skin colour, ethnicity, age, health condition or opinions. Democratic society is society of various ideas that must be respected in their diversity.
Civil society is facing a crisis of political parties as well as attacks on democratic values. We often witness a minimal interest in citizens ́ needs in political sphere as well as in the governance. It is necessary to defend public interest and show dissatisfaction with non-trans- parent and untrustworthy governance to the executive branch of the government. It is vital to support watchdog activities and give feedback to the executive power and their governance.
To be able to pursue the watchdog role, it is essential to strengthen monitoring of politicians and public institutions decision-making processes on every level of the governance. Civil society organizations need to proceed together to defend public interest, share good practice and to support effective exercise of human rights. All to be able to contribute to systemic change in Czech society.
The media world has been undergoing a technological boom; it is full of news that can influence public opinion. Lot of information are spread from wide array of sources and they ́re spread regardless of their relevance or truthfulness. Through numerous social networks and websites, information is spread regardless of their relevance or truth. Whether we know it or not, that information influences our opinions Since means of disinformation campaigns are getting more inventive and more money is spent on spreading fake news, the ability to analyse media messages, evaluate whether they are based on facts and understand their intention is becoming one of the most important ability to develop.
Civic and media education support critical thinking that allows us to make well-informed and responsible choices and have an active participation in public affairs. Critically thinking citizens are crucial for active civil society and promoting democratic principles. They are also less likely to disseminate fake news. It is necessary to increase media literacy in both formal and nonformal education, to include media literacy into school curriculums and to develop a critically thinking attitude among people.
Insufficient and unsystematic funding of the civic sector prevents Czech non-governmental organization from reaching higher impact of their activities. In such conditions, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to focus on the organization’s growth and sustainability. In this sector, we experience lack of systematic and effective cooperation with our supporters which would help us communicate the importance of our activities and develop a positive attitude towards our role among general public.
To face this issue, we must emphasize our professionalism and necessity of our work for maintaining healthy civil society. Our role is not only to proceed the activities that fulfil original purpose of our organisation but also to confidently defend civil sector as one of the stable pillars of democracy.