On 8 November 2022, in Košice, we presented a research report that we published in cooperation with partner organizations Minority Rights Group Europe and Epeka Slovenia, Slovenia. In it, we map the current exposures of discrimination against Roma and other violations of their rights in both countries. We also pay attention to the persistent obstacles in access to justice that Roma men and women face.

In the Slovak part of the report, we relied primarily on interviews with more than thirty Roma activists from municipalities where we documented discrimination in the past. We also conducted interviews with several legal experts who deal with anti-discrimination law and its application in courts.

In interviews, Roma activists shared with us many specific cases of discrimination or other rights violations that they still encounter in their surroundings. We directly describe a number of them in the report. The fact is that discrimination against Roma remains widespread in Slovakia in many areas of public life. Many of these manifestations have a deep systemic character.

In the report, we also point out that – even after almost twenty years since its adoption – the anti-discrimination law is used a very little to protect against discrimination. Roma rarely take discrimination to court. At the same time, they face a number of obstacles, such as lack of information about the possibilities of legal assistance, fear that the solution of the case may ultimately turn against them, poverty and social exclusion, as well as distrust in the courts and general distrust in the fact that they can get justice at all.

The report contains several recommendations, primarily for government institutions. If we want to see really significant progress in this area in the coming years, a really huge long-term effort by state institutions in close cooperation with local governments is necessary.

Also on the basis of this report, we will push for necessary measures towards the institutions in the next years.

We published the report as part of the project “Promoting the equality of Roma and Romani women in Slovenia and Slovakia“, which we are implementing with partner organizations with the support of the European Union.