Social justice and inclusion of vulnerable groups
Vulnerability or disadvantages can be seen on several levels in the Czech Republic. There are differences between urban and rural areas as well as among individual regions. These differences apply to opportunities in the labour market, quality of education and access to resources. The idea of social justice highlights principles of support and solidarity regardless of ethnicity, orientation or religion. Active inclusion means allowing all people to be members of society truly and fully. In practice, this means equal access for everyone to the labour market, good-quality education and services allowing active engagement.
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-ma- king 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.
Members of vulnerable groups are often on the edge of mainstream society. Those people are more likely to become a target of hate speech and are often excluded from discussions about their own needs. Vulnerable groups include minority ethnicities, refugees, migrants, LGBTQ people, socially and culturally excluded groups, people with lower education or income, poor families or people with disabilities.
To be able to improve their situation, it is crucial to empower them to communicate needs of their communities and advocate for their rights. Vulnerable groups need to be engaged in the process of their own empowerment and their ability to exercise their rights needs to be strengthened.
Focus should be put into increasing awareness of their needs, including them into mainstream society, sharing good practices and including vulnerable communities when designing long term solutions.
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.