Annual Report: Slovakia 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Slovakia 2010

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  • The special school in Pavlovce nad Uhom underwent further inspections in 2009. In 2008, 99.5 per cent of the pupils were Roma, and were often transferred to the school without any assessment. An inspection carried out between April and May demonstrated that there were still many Romani children in the special school who had never been diagnosed with mental disability. The State School Inspectorate recommended that the school's director be dismissed; he resigned in November.

Housing

In May, ECRI urged the government to take urgent measures to protect Roma from being forcibly evicted, and to ensure that measures to improve housing conditions consider the need to integrate Roma with the general population.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the municipal authority of the town of Sabinov were found to have discriminated against Roma by evicting them from municipally owned apartments in the town centre. Both the ministry and the municipality appealed against the decision.

In October, the Ostrovany municipality began building a wall dividing the Roma settlement from the rest of the village. The initiative was criticized by the government's Plenipotentiary for Roma Communities, who said that construction of the wall raised concerns about segregation and potential violation of the law.

Forced sterilization of Romani women

In a response to the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review, Slovakia announced that it had adopted legislative measures, including requiring health workers to seek informed consent for sterilization and the definition of a new criminal offence of "illegal sterilization". However, according to the Centre for Civil and Human Rights ((Porad?a pre ob?ianske a ?udské práva), the Ministry of Health Care failed to issue any implementing guidelines on sterilizations and informed consent for health workers. In addition, the authorities were still failing to carry out thorough, impartial and effective investigations into all cases of alleged forced sterilizations.

In April, in the case of K.H. and others v. Slovakia, the European Court of Human Rights found Slovakia in violation of the right to private and family life and the right to access to court. The case involved eight Romani women who suspected that the reason for their infertility might be that a sterilization procedure was performed on them during their Caesarean delivery in hospitals in eastern Slovakia. The women were refused full access to the official documentation relating to their medical treatment. The Court ruled that the state must give access to files containing personal data, and must permit copies to be made. The government requested that the case be reviewed by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

Torture and other ill-treatment

There were some positive developments in legal cases regarding police officers accused of torture, and at least one further report of ill-treatment by officers was received.