Difficult Life Situations
Anyone can fall into a difficult situation, which they are not able to solve themselves and need advice or a helping hand from someone else. In the Czech Republic there is a well developed and fairly well-functioning social system which prevents individuals from slipping through the net.
In this chapter you will learn whom to contact if you find yourself in a crisis situation and where to seek help. We hope that you will never have to use these services but it is good to know they exist anyway.
- Loss of Housing & Homelessness
- Drug Addiction
- Labour Exploitation
- Domestic Violence
- Debts and Bankruptcy
Loss of Housing & Homelessness
You can lose your place of living and become homeless quite quickly. Most often, the reason is some kind of hardship related toa divorce, a serious illness, a job loss (together with a loss of regular income), seizure of assets etc.
If you get into a situation where you “lose the roof over your head”, contact the following organisations which offer advisory services as well as overnight stays, basic sanitation, food and clothing.
The national umbrella organisation which unites entities that deal with the issue of homelessness is the S.A.D. platform (Síť aktérů pro domov, z.s.). On their website there is a map of entities which provide services to people in need.
Some Prague-based organisations which help homeless people can be found on the following website:
The following organisations provide information about drug issues, help with addiction treatment and providefree syringe exchanges, so that at least spreading of illnesses among drug addicts can be prevented.
Drop In, o. p. s.
Karolíny Světlé 18, 110 00 Prague 1
+420 222 221 124
Sananim, o. s.
Na Skalce 819/15, 150 00 Prague 5
+420 283 872 186
Meziškolská 1120/2, 169 00 Prague 6
+420 233 355 459 +420 777 161 138
Unfortunately, migrants often become victims of labour exploitation.Victims are lured under a false promise of a well-paid job and then abused, most often through labour exploitation. Very often, the victims are also obliged to pay back debts for job mediation, borrowed working equipment etc. This is called human trafficking. It includes labour as well as sexual exploitation.
How do you know that you have become a victim of human trafficking?
- – Your employer does not make a work contract with you
- – Your employer makes you perform work which does not fall within your job description
- – Your employer makes you perform dangerous, life-threatening work.
- – You work in an environment, which is life-threatening or you have not been provided with sufficient protective equipment.
- – Your employer does not allow you to have a break to eat, drink or go to the toilet.
- – Your employer does not pay you the agreed wage or pays only a part of it.
- – You are in a situation of forced sexual exploitation (it mainly concerns women).
- – Other…
If you have any concerns that you or someone you know may be a victim of exploitation, contact the following NGOs which will provide you with help and advice:
P.O. Box 305, Prague 1, 111 21
+420 222 717 171, mobile phone: +420 603 153 465 (nonstop 24 hours a day)
Caritas of the Archdiocese of Prague – Magdala project
Londýnská 44, 120 00 Prague 2
+420 736 764 706
ROZKOŠ bez RIZIKA
Bolzanova 1, 110 00 Praha 1
+420 224 234 453
You can also contact the Police of the CR directly by calling 158!
Any kind of violence, including violence within the family, is an offence. Domestic violence is not only physical violence but also long-term humiliation or verbal abuse.
Domestic violence knows no limits. It can take place between people of the same nationality, as well as in a mixed couple of a Czech person and a migrant. Migrants who become victims of domestic violence feel the same pain and humiliation as other people but in comparison with Czech citizens, their position is even more disadvantaged. Their vulnerability is caused by a lack of knowledge of the Czech language, a lack of awareness of their rights, social isolation and restrictions on their residence in the CR. For these reasons, they are easy victims. They do not know how to defend themselves effectively or are afraid of defending themselves. They are usually dependant on a family member who uses violence against them. Often it is also difficult for them to access professional services or they do not trust such services.
If you become a victim of domestic violence or if you know somebody who is likely a victim of domestic violence, contact the Police of the CR directly(tel. 158) or one of the following specialised NGOs:
SIMI (Association for Integration and Migration)
Baranova 33, Prague 3
+420 224 224 379, 603 547 450
SIMI provides legal, social and psychosocial counselling free of charge in Czech, Russian, English and French. You can use other languages as well, as they will provide interpreting by an intercultural worker.
ACORUS – a centre for people endangered by domestic violence
Dělnická 213/12, Prague 7 (only personal consultations; accommodation is provided elsewhere at a private address)
NONSTOP telephone line: 283 892 772
ACORUS provides emergency assistance – emergency accommodation at a private address, asylum accommodation at a private address, counselling for people endangered by domestic violence, legal information for victims of crimes commited in connection with domestic violence, flats of subsequent accomodation assistance at a private address. ACORUS provides services in the Czech language. If other languages are needed, they cooperate with SIMI and their intercultural workers.
Bílý kruh bezpečí (“White Circle of Safety”)
U Trojice 2, 150 00 Prague 5
+420 257 317 100
Intervention Centre Prague
Chelčického 39, 130 00 Prague 3
+420 281 911 883, +420 734 510 292
proFem, o. p. s.
Plzeňská 66, 150 00 Prague 5
+420 608 22 22 77
Rosa, o. s.
Podolská 242/25, 147 00 Prague 4
+420 241 432 466
SOS linka: +420 602 246 102
Gambling, or an addiction to it, is an illness which can lead to debts of hundreds of thousands or even millions of Czech crowns, as well as loss of employment, friends and family and can cause serious health problems.
Most often, gamblers are addicted to gambling machines or card games (including online versions).
To seek advice and help, contact the following organisation:
Stop závislosti, o. s. (“Stop Addiction”)
+420 775 122 273
Debts and Bankruptcy
Anyone can get into financial difficulties which may culminate into debts or seizure of assets. If you find yourself in such a situation, contact the following NGOs, which will provide you with information about resolving your debts, payment scheduling, personal bankruptcy etc.
Maltézská pomoc, o. p. s. (“Maltese Aid”)
Lázeňská 2, 118 00 Prague 1
+420 736 620 894
Poradna při finanční tísni, o. p. s. (“Counselling in Stringency”)
Americká 22, 120 00 Prague 2
+420 222 922 240