WHAT IS DISCRIMINATION
Discrimination is an action or an omission by which one person is treated differently from another based on ethnicity, sex, disability, age, religion or other dissimilarities.
According to the Anti-discrimination act discrimination is a less favorable treatment of an individual based on sex, race, colour of skin, language, age, sexual orientation, religion, political or other views, national or social origin, citizenship or ethnic affiliation, assets, or based on the other category or condition.
In our work, we have been devoted to eliminate discrimination in various areas of public life. We have been particularly focused on a discrimination of the Roma minority in our society.
In this field:
- we conduct monitoring and research;
- we provide legal advice, free of charge;
- we provide, in specific cases, legal representation free of charge in court proceedings and other legal proceedings with regard to their broader social impact, so-called ‘strategic litigation’;
- we carry on court proceedings in cases of discrimination of larger groups of individuals, so called ‘actio popularis’;
- we carry out educational and publishing activities;
- we advocate for systemic changes on the political level;
- we provide information to international human rights organizations about cases of discrimination in Slovakia.
PROTECTION FROM DISCRIMINATION
You can defend yourself from discrimination by:
- complaining to a relevant superior or managing individual:
- in case a discrimination took place within employment, you can complain to your superior or to your employer;
- in case a discrimination took place in an educational institution, you can complain to a directorate and/or to its founder;
- appealing to an administrative body:
- complaining to a relevant court, based on the Antidiscrimination Act – you may claim for:
- elimination of discrimination;
- an apology;
- financial compensation.
In case of discrimination, you may approach the Slovak National Center for Human Rights, which:
- provides legal advice, free of charge;
- conducts independent research in cases of discrimination;
- issues expert opinions.
Find out more about how to defend against discrimination in our manual Let´s Say No to Discrimination (in Slovak only).
HOW WE CAN SUPPORT YOU
In case you believe you are discriminated agaist and you wish to defend yourself, please contact us.
At the Center for Civil and Human Rights, we:
- provide legal advice, free of charge – we evaluate whether you have been discriminated in violation with a legislation in force, and we suggest legal remedies;
- provide, in specific cases, legal representation free of charge in a court proceeding.
- we provided legal representation, free of charge, to dozens of discriminated individuals in court proceedings;
- we achieved first positive decisions before Slovak courts where they ruled about discrimination based on etnic origins and awarded financial compensations to the discriminated individuals;
- after exhausting all available domestic judicial remedies, we provided legal representation, free of charge, to several discriminated individuals before international human rights bodies (European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg and United Nations Treaty monitoring bodies);
- we initiated in Slovak courts public interest litagtion based on so called ‘actio popularis’ – complaints which can be claimed by non-governmental organizations in cases of discrimination of larger numbers of individuals – complaints we submitted by now concerned segregation of Roma children in education, discriminatory laws and segregation of Roma women in maternities;
- we filed a lawsuit, where Slovak courts ruled for the first time concerning the segregation of Roma children in education;
- in 2015 we published a publication ‘Actio popularis, an effective way to fight discrimination’ (in Slovak only with its summary in English), which introduced an ‘actio popularis’ complaint in detail to the public;
- zwe increased a public awareness about the legal options for protection from discrimination by
- field monitoring,
- issuing flyers,
- organizing training events for attorneys, judges, counsels of Centers for legal aid or Community workers;
- in 2012, we evaluated in detail a practical application of the Antidiscrimination Act, and with our findings, we published a publication ‘Discrimination in Slovakia: Searching for barriers in the access to effective legal protection from discrimination’ (in Slovak only with its summary in English);
- on a regular basis, we provided information to the International Institutions of the UN or the Council of Europe about shortcomings in the field of the application of the domestic Antidiscrimination Act.