Parents in the Czech Republic who refuse to vaccinate their children against common diseases can be fined, which is in line with the country’s compulsory vaccination policy, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled.
Such measures are no violation of the right to respect for private and family life, the court said on Thursday.
“In the Czech Republic there is a general legal duty to vaccinate children against nine diseases that are well known to medical science,” the court wrote in a statement.
The nine diseases that are common in children include measles, rubella and mumps.
Parents who don’t vaccinate their children against those diseases can be fined or their children be denied a spot in nursery school.
The ECHR ruled on six cases in which children had not received their routine vaccinations as scheduled. Five of the complaints had been filed by the affected children themselves.
While the court regarded compulsory vaccination as an interference with the right to private life, it considered the Czech regulation to be appropriate, as its goal is to protect children from diseases and serious health risk – with vaccinations or, if not possible, through emerging herd immunity.
This was “consistent with the best interests of the children,” the court said.