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Czech Republic - CEDAW Committee issues recommendation on forced sterilisations

[New York, 22 October 2010] The recommendation of the UN CEDAW Committee on addressing forced sterilizations reads as follows:

35. The Committee, in accordance with its previous recommendations (CEDAW/C/CZE/CO/3, para. 24), its general recommendations Nos. 19, 21 and 24, and the recommendations in the Final Statement dated 23 December 2005 of the Ombudsman in the matter of sterilizations performed in contravention of the law and proposed remedial measures, urges the State party: to adopt legislative changes clearly defining the requirements of free, prior and informed consent with regard to sterilizations, in accordance with relevant international standards, including a period of at least seven days between informing the patient about the nature of the sterilization, its permanent consequences, potential risks and available alternatives and the patient’s expression of her free, prior and informed consent; review the three-year time limit in the statute of limitations for bringing compensation claims in cases of coercive or non-consensual sterilizations in order to extend it and, as a minimum, ensure that such time limit starts from the time of discovery of the real significance and all consequences of the sterilization by the victim rather than the time of injury; consider establishing an ex-gratia compensation procedure for victims of coercive or non-consensual sterilizations whose claims have lapsed; provide all victims with assistance to access their medical records; and investigate and punish illegal past practices of coercive or non-consensual sterilizations.

Follow-up to CEDAW Committee Concluding Observations
49. The Committee requests the State party to provide, within two years, written information on the steps undertaken to implement the recommendations contained in paragraphs 23 and 35.

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