Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of all UN Treaty Bodies and their follow-up procedures. This does not include the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which are available here: http://www.crin.org/resources/treaties/index.asp
Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.
- UN Human Rights Committee
- UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
- UN Committee against Torture
- UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
Concluding observations published on:22 November 2016
Positive developments: The Committee also welcomes the ratification of, or accession to, the following international instruments by the State party the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure, on 3 December 2013 (para 5).
Hate crime, hate speech and increasing radicalization in political discourse and in the media: The Committee is concerned that, despite the State party’s efforts to combat extremism, the phenomena of hate crime and hate speech in political discourse, in the media and on the Internet against ethnic minorities, notably Roma, Muslims and non-citizens, remain prevalent in the State party (para 12).
The State party should: take measures to promote tolerance and an environment inclusive of persons belonging to ethnic, national, racial, religious and other minorities; use legislative, policy and educational measures, including sensitization and awareness-raising, to counter stigmatization of Roma, Muslim and other minorities; take measures to prevent racist attacks and to ensure that the alleged perpetrators are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted and, if convicted, punished with appropriate sanctions, and that the victims have access to adequate compensation; and prohibit any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence (para 13).
Discrimination of Roma children in education: While the Committee welcomes the 2015 amendments to the Schools Act introducing a number of measures aimed at promoting desegregation, it is concerned that Roma children continue to suffer from de facto segregation in the State party’s school system, being taught in Roma-only classes or attending classes in separate school pavilions, and often being provided with inferior education. It is also concerned that the number of Roma children placed in schools for children with mild disabilities continues to be disproportionately high (para 18).
The State party should fully implement the Schools Act, adopt measures to effectively monitor and eradicate the practice of segregation, ensure that appropriate training is provided to experts assessing children as disabled and that education is provided to Roma children on a non-discriminatory basis with other children (para 19).
Treatment of aliens, including refugees and asylum seekers: The Committee is concerned that asylum-seeking families with children are being systematically detained for lengthy periods in unsuitable conditions and that alternatives to detention are often not available to them (para 30).
The State party should ensure that: children are not deprived of liberty, except as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, taking into account their best interests (para 31).
Unaccompanied minors: The Committee is concerned about reports of unaccompanied minors who have gone missing from foster homes and the inefficiency in locating them. It is also concerned that article 127 of the Act on Residence of Foreigners (No. 404/2011 Coll.) provides that a person claiming to be an unaccompanied child should be considered an adult until the results of the medical age assessment examination prove the contrary, that those results cannot be appealed, and that as a consequence, no guardian is appointed to that person in the interim period (para 32).
The State party should: ensure that unaccompanied minors receive appropriate protection and, as a matter of urgency, establish a register of disappeared unaccompanied children and conduct search operations for those children, in cooperation with other States, as necessary; remove the presumption of majority from the Act on Residence of Foreigners (No. 404/2011 Coll.) and ensure that age assessment procedures are conducted only by experts in that field and only in cases of reasonable doubt about the age of the person concerned, with a view to the best interest of the child; and ensure that child asylum seekers, in particular unaccompanied children, have access to education, social and psychological services and legal aid, and are provided with a legal representative and/or guardian without delay (para 33).
Last reported: 16 / 17 March 2011
Concluding Observations issued: 28 March 2011
Corporal punishment: While taking note of the fact that the current Criminal Code No. 300/2005 Coll. (as amended) criminalizes and punishes the torture and ill-treatment of children, the Committee expresses concern at the permissibility of corporal punishment in the home where it traditionally continues to be accepted and practised as a form of discipline by parents and guardians (arts. 7 and 24). (Paragraph 12).
The State party should take practical steps to put an end to corporal punishment in all settings. It should encourage non-violent forms of discipline as alternatives to corporal punishment, and should conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness about its harmful effects.
Roma children and education: The Committee recalls its previous concluding observations (CCPR/CO/78/SVK para. 18) and is concerned at the continued reports of de facto segregation of Roma children in the education sector. The Committee is further concerned at the continuing reports of the placement of Roma children in special needs classes that are meant for pupils with psychological disabilities, without conducting proper medical assessments to establish their mental capacity (arts. 26 and 27). (Paragraph 17).
The State party should take immediate steps to eradicate the segregation of Roma children in its education system by ensuring that the placement in schools is carried out on an individual basis and is not influenced by the child’s ethnic group. Furthermore, the State party should take concrete steps to ensure that decisions for the placement of all children, including Roma children, in special needs classes may not be made without an independent medical evaluation nor based solely on the capacity of the child.
Last reported: 1/ 2 May 2012
Concluding Observations issued: 8 June 2012
Discrimination and education: The Committee is concerned by the fact that the Roma continue to be the victims of discrimination, particularly in the areas of education, employment, health and housing. The Committee regrets that the State party has not furnished it with statistics on this subject (arts. 2, 6, 11, 12 and 13). Para 9.
The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen the preventive and protective measures in place to combat social and societal discrimination against the Roma in all domains, in particular by ensuring full enforcement of the Anti-Discrimination Act. The Committee also recommends that the State party undertake steps to promote the rights of the Roma, with regard to access to employment, education, housing and health. The State party should pass the bill on marginalized communities, enforce that law once it has been passed, implement its Roma integration strategy up to 2020 which it adopted on 11 January 2012 and report to the Committee on the results of those steps.
Health: The Committee remains concerned by the high rate of tobacco use in the State party and the health implications thereof, especially for young people despite the State party’s many legislative initiatives and awareness-raising campaigns aimed at combating tobacco use (art. 12). Para 23.
The Committee strongly recommends that the State party step up its efforts to combat tobacco use and to address the implications thereof, especially for young people. The Committee urges the State party to ensure the effective application of its anti-tobacco legislation and to intensify its awareness-raising campaigns in that respect. The Committee also recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive national plan or strategy to combat tobacco use and that these include health-care provisions.
Sexual health education: The Committee is concerned by reports that sexual and reproductive health education is not included in school curricula, which means that students are left uninformed about the risks of early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (arts. 12 and 13). Para 25.
The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate steps to ensure that students receive sexual and reproductive health education at school in order to avert the risks associated with early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Roma children and education:. The Committee is concerned by reports that Roma children continue to be the victims of segregation in the State party’s school system by being refused the right to attend regular classes in some areas and being taught in special classes, notwithstanding the existing provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act and the School Act. The Committee is also concerned by the low enrolment rate among Roma children and their persistently high school dropout rate. The Committee is equally concerned by discrimination in schools against children with disabilities (art. 13). Para 26.
The Committee recommends that the State party put in place a national strategy and plan of action in order to raise the enrolment rate and lower the school dropout rate among Roma children. The Committee recommends that the State party conduct campaigns to raise awareness among Roma families and continue to offer the incentives in these respects that have already been established. The Committee also recommends that the State party combat the segregation of Roma children in schools by ensuring the effective enforcement of the Anti-Discrimination Act and the School Act and by raising teachers’ and the general public’s awareness of these laws. It further recommends that the State party adopt and apply an inclusive approach to the education of children with disabilities. The Committee directs the State party’s attention to its general comment No. 13 (1999) on the right to education
Last reported: 19 /20 February 2013
Concluding Observations issued: 17 April 2013
Segregation in education system: Despite some measures taken by the State party, including the 2008 Schools Act and the December 2011 ruling of the District Court in Prešov, which ordered the desegregation of Roma pupils in theMainstreamElementary Schoolin Sarišské Michaľany, the Committee is concerned about: Paragraph 11
(a) The ongoing de facto segregation of Roma children in education, with the practice of Roma only schools or classes;
(b) The information that Roma children are dramatically overrepresented in special classes and “special” schools for children with intellectual disability; as well as the information that higher financial contributions to “special” schools for students with intellectual disability as compared to the ones on education of children from socially disadvantaged environment may explain this practice;
(c) The lack of enforcement of the 2008 Schools Act and the Anti-Discrimination Act regarding discrimination and segregation in education as well as the lack of clear enforcement measures;
(d) The information that the “Roma reform” re-introducing mandatory pre-school education for children from families affected by social exclusion might lead to discrimination and segregation (arts. 2, 3 and 5).
The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen the provisions of the Strategy for the Integration of Roma up to 2020 and the Revised National Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion and ensure they are effectively pursued. To this end, the State party is requested to:
(a) Take all necessary measures to eradicate the practice of segregating Roma children in the school system and ensure that they enjoy equal opportunities in access to quality education, in light of the Committee’s general recommendation No. 27 (2000);
(b) Provide for ways and means to eliminate the overrepresentation of Roma students in specialized classes and in special schools by addressing the root causes of this practice and to integrate them into mainstream education; and increase human and financial resources for the education of Roma, in addition to organizing training on Roma rights for teachers and social personnel;
(c) Take enforcement measures to ensure the effective application of the Schools and the Anti-Discrimination Acts, including their dissemination in schools as well as other preventive measures in order to put an end to the de facto segregation in education;
(d) Ensure that mandatory pre-school education is conducted in a manner that would remove the disparity between children of marginalized groups and the majority population, with the aim of preventing future segregation in education.
Roma children and education: While the Committee welcomes the extensive measures adopted by the State party in the field of education aimed at improving the situation of Roma children, including the “Roma assistants” project, it continues to express concern at de facto segregation of Roma children in special schools, including special remedial classes for mentally disabled children. (Paragraph 8).
The Committee recommends that the State party prevent and avoid the segregation of Roma children, while keeping open the possibility of bilingual or mother-tongue education. The Committee further recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to raise the level of achievement in school by Roma children, recruit additional school personnel from among members of Roma communities and promote intercultural education.
Last reported: 14 July 2008
Sex education: […..]. The Committee expresses concern at the persistence of gender stereotypes prevailing in school textbooks, which is a root cause of the traditional academic choices of boys and girls. The Committee is also concerned at the insufficient access to sex education in schools, which does not seem to meet the needs of girls and boys or to contribute to the fulfilment of the State party’s responsibilities in that regard. (Paragraph 32).
The Committee urges the State party to design and implement comprehensive programmes in the educational system and to encourage the mass media to promote cultural changes with regard to the roles and responsibilities attributed to women and men, as required by article 5 of the Convention. It recommends that policies be developed and programmes implemented to ensure the eradication of traditional sex role stereotypes in the family, labour market, the health sector, academia, politics and society at large. The Committee calls upon the State party to complete the review of school textbooks in order to remove gender stereotypes and promote egalitarian views of women’s and men’s roles in the family and in society. It recommends that the State party ensure that sex education is widely promoted in schools and targeted at both girls and boys.
Violence and trafficking: While acknowledging current legal and other measures undertaken by the State party to eliminate violence against women, the Committee is concerned that the current legislation on violence may not be fully comprehensive and specific to address all forms of violence against women adequately. The Committee is also concerned at the high rate of violence against women and girls, including homicides resulting from domestic violence. The Committee notes with concern the lack of information in the State party’s report with respect to support to women victims of violence, and the allocation of financial resources to programmes aimed at combating violence against women. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned at the lack of preventive programmes and campaigns targeting different groups of the population, including men, women and vulnerable communities, particularly taking into account that the phenomenon of violence against women is not acknowledged by several sectors of the population. The Committee expresses concern about the fact that corporal punishment in the home is lawful and constitutes a form of violence against children, including the girl child. The Committee notes that, although the State party has adopted legislation criminalizing trafficking, as well as an action plan and mechanisms to address this phenomenon, the report does not provide a full picture of the situation of trafficked women and girls in Slovakia. (Paragraph 34).
The Committee urges the State party to place high priority on the introduction of comprehensive and holistic measures to address all forms of violence against women in the family and in society. The Committee calls upon the State party to ensure that such violence is prosecuted and punished with the required seriousness and speed, and that those women victims of violence have immediate means of redress and protection. The Committee requests the State party to ensure that legislation on violence against women is specific and comprehensive with regard to women, encompassing all forms of violence and in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 19. It recommends that measures be taken to provide shelters for women victims of violence in sufficient numbers and with adequate standards, and to ensure that public officials, especially law enforcement officials, the judiciary, health-care providers and social workers, are fully sensitized to all forms of violence against women. The Committee invites the State party to take awareness-raising measures through the media and public education programmes, including a campaign of zero tolerance, to make such violence socially and morally unacceptable, and to undertake a study on the root causes of homicides resulting from domestic violence. The Committee recommends that the State party include in its legislation the prohibition of corporal punishment of children in the home. The Committee requests the State party to provide detailed information on the situation of trafficked women and girls in Slovakia in its next periodic report, as well as on the results of measures taken.
Roma children: While acknowledging the measures taken by the State party under the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015, the Committee is concerned that Roma women and girls remain in vulnerable and marginalized situations, especially with regard to health, education, employment and participation in public life, and are victims of multiple discrimination. (Paragraph 36).
The Committee urges the State party to take effective measures, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25, to eliminate the multiple forms of discrimination against Roma women and girls and to enhance respect for their human rights. It calls upon the State party to accelerate achievement of Roma women’s de facto equality by strengthening the coordination among all agencies working on Roma, non-discrimination and gender equality issues, in particular in the areas of health, education, employment and participation in public life. The Committee urges the State party to implement targeted measures to eliminate discrimination against Roma women in all areas within specific timetables, to monitor their implementation and achievement of stated goals, including within the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015, and to take corrective action whenever necessary. The Committee also urges the State party to take concrete steps to change the traditional perception of Roma by the majority population, including through awareness and sensitization programmes targeting, in particular, those sectors of society where such attitudes are noticeable. It calls upon the State party to provide in its next periodic report a comprehensive picture of the situation of Roma women and girls, including data disaggregated by sex in regard to their educational opportunities and achievements, access to employment and health-care services and participation in public life and decision-making.
Health: While noting the measures taken by the State party to facilitate women’s access to health care, including reproductive health, the Committee is deeply concerned about the insufficient regulation of the exercise of conscientious objection by health professionals with regard to sexual and reproductive health. The Committee is also concerned at the persisting high rate of abortion, which is a consequence of the lack of information and access of women to family planning. The Committee is further concerned at the difficulties women belonging to vulnerable communities experience in accessing health care due to the cost of related services. Furthermore, the Committee expresses concern at the lack of a holistic and life-cycle approach to women’s health. (Paragraph 42).
The Committee recommends that the State party adequately regulate the invocation of conscientious objection by health professionals so as to ensure that women’s access to health and reproductive health is not limited. The Committee calls the attention of the State party to its general recommendation No. 24, which states that it is discriminatory for a State party to refuse to provide legally for the performance of certain reproductive health services for women. It recommends that, if health service providers refuse to perform such services based on conscientious objection, measures should be introduced to ensure that women are referred to alternative health providers. The Committee urges the State party to take measures to increase the access of women and adolescent girls to affordable health-care services, including reproductive health care, and to increase access to information and affordable means of family planning for women and men. It calls upon the State party to increase its efforts to implement awareness-raising campaigns targeting women and men on the importance of family planning and related aspects of women’s health and reproductive rights. The Committee recommends that the Government fully implement a life-cycle approach to women’s health
Last reported: 3 / 4 November 2009
Concluding Observations issued: 16 November 2009
Detention: The Committee is concerned about the conditions of detention for juveniles, such as solitary confinement for periods up to 10 days, and the placement of juvenile detainees in pretrial detention together with adults (arts. 11 and 16). (Paragraph 12).
In line with the concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child of 2007 (CRC/C/SVK/CO/2, para. 68), the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Implement the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules) adopted in 1985, and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (the Havana Rules), adopted in 1990;
(b) Ensure that juveniles are held in detention only as a last resort and in strict compliance with the law, and ensure regular review of the conditions of detention of juveniles;
(c) Set up a training programme for judges to specialize in juveniles, including on the application of non-custodial measures;
(d) If necessary, seek technical assistance and other cooperation from the Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice.
Roma children: The Committee is concerned about reports of mistreatment of Roma by police officers during arrest and while in custody. It is also concerned about the high percentage of Roma children in schools for children with mental disabilities. It is further concerned about discrimination against the Roma minority, which has led to violations of the rights protected under the Convention (arts. 10 and 16). (Paragraph 15).
In the light of its general comment No. 2 on the implementation of article 2 (CAT/C/GC/2), the Committee recalls that the special protection of certain minorities or marginalized individuals or groups especially at risk is part of the State party’s obligations under the Convention. In this respect, the State party should:
(a) Strengthen its efforts to combat ill-treatment of Roma detainees by ensuring the exercise of their legal rights from the outset of detention;
(b) Enforce the School Act No 245/2008 by ensuring that Roma children are admitted to mainstream education, unless a proper assessment concludes that the child has a mental disability and the child’s legal guardian has requested placement in a special school. In particular, it should decouple the term “socially disadvantaged” from the term “mental disability”.
Violence: The Committee is concerned about the insufficient measures taken to protect women and children against violence. In this regard, it shares the concern of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW/C/SVK/CO/4, para. 20) about the high rate of violence against women and girls, including feminicides in the context of domestic violence (art. 16). (Paragraph 17).
The State party should:
(a) Strengthen its efforts to ensure that urgent and efficient protection measures are put in place, and investigate promptly and impartially all allegations of violence against women and girls, including feminicides in the context of domestic violence, and prosecute and punish the perpetrators;
(b) Provide shelters and counselling services for women victims of violence in sufficient numbers and with adequate standards;
(c) Conduct broader awareness-raising campaigns and training on domestic violence for officials (judges, prosecutors, lawyers, law enforcement agencies and social workers) and the public at large;
(d) Increase cooperation with non-governmental organizations working to protect women and girls from violence.
Corporal punishment: The Committee is concerned that prohibition of corporal punishment Is not explicitly stipulated in the act on the family, and that corporal punishment is widely accepted in society (art. 16). (Paragraph 18).
The State party should explicitly prohibit corporal punishment in the family. It should also ensure that legislation prohibiting corporal punishment is strictly enforced and that awareness-raising and educational campaigns are conducted to that effect.
Trafficking: The Committee is concerned about reports of cross-border trafficking in women for sexual and other exploitative purposes, and of Roma children trafficked abroad, especially for forced begging. The Committee is also concerned by internal trafficking of Roma women and children. The Committee regrets the lack of statistics on these issues, the low number of prosecutions and the frequent use of suspended sentences for perpetrators. The Committee is further concerned that reintegration and rehabilitation services are insufficient for victims of trafficking (art. 16). (Paragraph 19).
The State party should:
(a) Investigate promptly and impartially all allegations of human trafficking, especially of women and children, prosecute the alleged perpetrators and punish those found guilty with appropriate penalties;
(b) Intensify its efforts to provide reintegration and rehabilitation services to victims;
(c) Conduct nationwide awareness-raising campaigns and conduct training for law enforcement officials, migration officials and border police on the causes, consequences and incidence of human trafficking.
No visits undertaken.
Not yet signed or ratified.
Concluding observations issued: 17 May 2016
Issues Raised and Recommendations given:
Equality and non-discrimination: The Committee is concerned that the law does not recognize multiple and intersectional discrimination, especially against women and girls with disabilities and members of ethnic minorities with disabilities, especially Roma people. The Committee recommends that the State party amend section 2a (1) of the Anti-Discrimination Act to include intersectional and multiple discrimination as a form of discrimination, and definitions of the term, and adopt legal remedies and sanctions to reflect the aggravated nature of violations arising from multiple and intersectional discrimination (paras 17, 18).
Children with disabilities: The Committee is deeply concerned about the number of children with disabilities living in institutions, especially those with intellectual disabilities. The Committee urges the State party to prevent any new placement of children with disabilities in institutions, and to introduce an action plan with a clear timetable for its implementation and budget allocations to ensure the full deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities from all residential services and their transition from institutions into the community (paras 23, 24).
The Committee is concerned that there is a significant lack of early intervention and early diagnosis services in the health, social and educational areas and that financial support for families with children with disabilities requiring early intervention is insufficient. The Committee recommends that the State party develop a holistic and comprehensive network of health and social care services for the early diagnosis and intervention for children with disabilities, in close consultation with their representative organizations, and increase financial support for their families using public resources (paras 25, 26).
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse: The Committee is concerned that measures to protect persons with disabilities from violence both within and outside the home are insufficient. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that legislation and policies on the protection of persons from violence incorporate specific references to persons with disabilities, including accessible reporting, victim support services and complaints mechanisms, and specialized training for the police, judges and prosecutors. It also recommends that the State party ensure that due diligence is applied in all cases of violence and abuse of persons with disabilities, particularly women, girls, boys and older persons (paras 47, 48).
Respect for home and the family: The Committee is deeply concerned that section 12 of the Family Act restricts the right to marriage of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of provision of support to children with disabilities to remain in the family and of means to avoid their placement in institutions, and the lack of measures to support parents with disabilities. The Committee recommends that the State party repeal section 12 of the Family Act; provide adequate support for children with disabilities to reside in the family; and provide support to parents with disabilities to retain full parental responsibility for their children (paras 65, 66).
Signed in 2007, but not yet ratified.