Case of Vavřička and Others v. The Czech Republic

Application Nos. 47621/13, 3867/14, 73094/14, 19306/15, 43883/15 (2021)

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Case of Vavřička and Others v. The Czech Republic

European Court of Human Rights
Application Nos. 47621/13, 3867/14, 73094/14, 19306/15, 43883/15 (2021)

Facts

The government of the Czech Republic (defendant) required children to be vaccinated to attend nursery school, with exceptions only for children who could not be vaccinated for medical reasons. Under Czech law, if a parent refused to vaccinate a child without a valid health reason, the child would be refused entry to school, and the parent would be fined. The Czech government asserted that the vaccine requirement was necessary to protect individual and public health and to guard against any decrease in childhood vaccination rates. Pavel Vavřička and other Czech parents who refused to vaccinate their children and whose children consequently were refused entry to nursery school (collectively, the parents) (plaintiffs) brought applications against the Czech government in the European Court of Human Rights. The parents asserted that the Czech government’s vaccination requirements violated the parents’ rights to respect for the parents’ private lives and rights to care for the children in accordance with the parents’ beliefs, as guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the convention). The parents asserted that parents were responsible for assessing and protecting children’s best interests, and the government should not interfere with parents’ choices except in extreme circumstances.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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