Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková
On May 11th in 2022, Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková was appointed by the Government of the Czech Republic to the position of Government Commissioner for Human Rights. Before her appointment to the position, she worked as the chairwoman of the Committee for Children's Rights, a member of the Government Council for Human Rights and a member of the Committee for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Violence against Women at the Government Council for Gender Equality. She founded and led the Czech Expert Society for Inclusive Education. She also worked as the manager of the children's mental health agenda in the Department of Mental Health Care System Reform at the Ministry of Health. She is the recipient of an award from the Committee of Good Will - Olga Havlova Foundation for promoting the quality and openness of educational systems and activities in the area of transformation of the care system for vulnerable children. She was awarded a medal by the Psychiatric Society of the Czech Medical Society for support for changes in the child mental health care system. In the past, she collaborated with the Office of the Public Defender of Rights and was a member of the advisory body of the Expert Group on Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion of the EU in the European Commission.
Social cohesion is a vital condition for democratic resilience. Both derive from and are closely dependent on the approach of the individual. I see those two terms as equivalent to personal acceptance of individual responsibility for our part in society. We all are irreplaceable members of it. We form and define it in our unique ways through everyday actions and words. The state of social cohesion is closely related to the manner of communication we choose while discussing the most pressing issues. I believe everybody, including individuals, can influence social cohesion to quite a large extent if we think about the meaning of our words and their possible consequences. Supposing that we endeavour to be sensitive to who the recipients might be and which emotions our words might evoke. Assuming that each of us will thoroughly consider whether the way we express our stances promotes mutual comprehension and exchange of various life experience and insights or whether it just overshadows the factual discussion and therefore undermines social cohesion. Whether at home or in public, on social media or mass media platforms, we all define the nature of the public debate. The recent tragic event of the hate-based murder of two young innocent people in an LGBT+ bar in Bratislava provides us with a moving testimony of the dangerous consequences of individuals expressing themselves in a way that divides society, spreads fear, prejudice and violence. Those particular people have continuously culminated hatred towards people of different sexual preference to the point where it escalated in a terrorist attack resulting in the death of two young innocent people who were not guilty of anything than being themselves and wanting to love whom their hearts told them to.