Austrian Control Bank Scholarship 2018

(C) Martin Ruiz Rueda

This year, the Austrian Control Bank Scholarship 2018 for the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights was awarded to Kantek Miroslav from the Czech Republic. Anton Ebner, who represented the Austrian Control Bank was handing over the scholarship at the inauguration ceremony.

Miroslav obtained his Master’s degree in Law and Legal Sciences at Masaryk University in Brno. During his studies, Miroslav became increasingly aware of the intricacy of different branches of social science and the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human rights. These thoughts combined with the desire to acquire practical knowledge in the field of human rights eventually aspired him to apply for this Master’s program.

As a student of law, Miroslav specialized in socio-economic rights and has been especially devoted to defending human rights in relation to health. His diploma thesis “Access to Palliative Care as a Human Right” investigates key bases of palliative care as a human right and examines Czech legislation and de lege ferenda proposals. Outside the academic realm, Miroslav provided legal services for free to an elderly care home in Czech where he represented the residents in administrative proceedings in front of public authorities to defend their rights. His pro bono services also benefited several other individuals who suffered from cognitive impairment.

Stepping further into the territory of health and human rights, Miroslav started his own pharmacy in Brno to gain more insights into the operation of the pharmaceutical system in Czech. He soon discovered an illegal activity where doctors collude with pharmaceutical representatives and pharmacies to sell certain drugs for their own profits neglecting the need of the patients. Miroslav collected evidence and presented them to the Unit for Combating Corruption and Financial Crime (ÚOKFK), meanwhile he also delivered a speech to the Honorary and the Review Board of the Czech Pharmaceutical Society to alert the audience of the consequences induced by such crime.

As a result of his initiative, in just two years, over 200 doctors were charged with corruption due to the investigation and the number of the accused is still increasing. This action, unfortunately, led to the bankruptcy of his pharmacy due to the pressure from several fronts. His passion for defending human rights is nevertheless growing strong. With the Austrian Control Bank Scholarship, Miroslav is ready to embark on a new journey to becoming a human rights expert.

We would once again like to express our deepest gratitude to the Austrian Control Bank for their continued support of our programme.