COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
31 July - 25 August 2000
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9
OF THE CONVENTION
of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered
the initial, second and third periodic reports of Slovakia, due on 28
May 1994, 1996 and 1998 respectively and submitted as one document (CERD/C/328/Add.1),
at its 1407th and 1408th meetings (CERD/C/SR.1407 and 1408), held on
3 and 4 August 2000. At its 1419th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1419), held on
11 August 2000, it adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes
the consolidated report, which contains detailed information on the
legal framework relating to the implementation of the Convention, and
appreciates the supplementary material provided to update the report
since its submission. The Committee welcomes the opportunity to be able
to initiate an open and constructive dialogue with the State party.
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee appreciates the fact that the State party has ratified
several international human rights instruments. Further, the Committee
notes with satisfaction that under the Constitution, international instruments,
including the Convention, ratified by the Slovak Republic take precedence
over national legislation.
4. The Committee welcomes
the establishment of the post of the Deputy Prime Minister on Human
Rights, National Minorities and Regional Development. The Committee
also welcomes the establishment of the Government's Plenipotentiary
for Addressing Roma Minority Issues, and the approval by the State of
the 1999 Strategy for the Solution of the Problems of the Roma National
Minority and the Set of Measures for its Implementation. The Committee
will follow the progress of the work of the Plenipotentiary with interest
and encourages the State party to support the activities of this office
and the implementation of the Strategy.
5. The Committee welcomes
the many initiatives undertaken by the State party, such as convening
international and national conferences on the issues of racism and national
minorities, and legal reforms, including the adoption of the Law on
the Use of Languages of National Minorities No. 184/1999 Coll., demonstrating
its commitment to combating racial discrimination. It further welcomes
the work towards the amendment of civil and criminal laws, taking into
account the provisions of the Convention.
6. The Committee welcomes
the State party's declaration under article 14 of the Convention.
C. Concerns and recommendations
7. The Committee notes the
absence in the report of disaggregated data on the population, giving
details of ethnic composition. The Committee recommends that the State
party provide this data, including gender composition, in subsequent
reports, in an appropriate form.
8. While noting detailed
information on constitutional and legal provisions, the Committee regrets
the absence of examples of the practical implementation of the provisions
of the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State party include
such an assessment, together with information on any difficulties encountered
in implementing the Convention.
9. The Committee is concerned
about settlement patterns with regard to the Roma minority. The Committee
is particularly concerned about the fact that two municipalities issued
decrees banning Roma from their territory and the duration of proceedings
to lift them. The Committee recommends that the State party review legislation
regulating local residence permits, investigate promptly and thoroughly
incidents of discrimination in access to housing and give speedy consideration
to these issues. The Committee invites the State party to monitor trends
which give rise to racial segregation and indicate its findings in subsequent
10. The Committee is concerned
at the persistence of acts of violence by groups, particularly "skinheads",
directed towards Roma and other ethnic minorities. The Committee recommends
that the State party strengthen procedures for timely and thorough investigations
and effective prosecutions of racist organizations. The Committee further
encourages the State party to expand throughout the State preventive
programmes to curb racially motivated violence.
11. The Committee is concerned
that despite school education being compulsory, a disproportionately
large number of Roma children are not enrolled in schools, have high
drop-out rates, do not complete higher education or are segregated and
placed in schools for mentally disabled children. The Committee recommends
that the State party address the various factors responsible for the
low level of education among the Romas with a view to improving enrolment
and continue efforts to develop and expand strategies to facilitate
the integration of minority pupils into mainstream education.
12. While welcoming the
adoption of Act No. 292/1999 concerning the prohibition of discriminatory
vacancy announcements, the Committee recommends that further measures
be taken for effective prohibition of discrimination in employment.
13. In light of the fact
that the Roma are among the populations hardest hit by unemployment
because of inadequate skill levels and low levels of education, the
Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the National Employment
Plan contains adequate job-training initiatives, and implement affirmative
action programmes to improve the employment situation among the Roma
in various levels of employment.
14. The Committee is concerned
that a disproportionately large number of Roma suffer higher mortality
rates, have poorer nutrition levels, and low levels of awareness of
maternal and child health. Moreover, the Committee is concerned about
poor access to clean drinking water, adequate sanitation, and high exposure
to environmental pollution in Roma settlements. The Committee recommends
that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure that the
Roma enjoy the full right to health and health care. The Committee recommends
that the State party prioritize and target social services for persons
belonging to the most vulnerable groups.
15. With respect to the
various initiatives undertaken pursuant to the United Nations Decade
for Human Rights Education, such as inclusion of human rights teaching
in the school curricula, police academies and in detention facilities,
the Committee would welcome information in subsequent reports on the
effectiveness of these measures and public awareness-raising campaigns
to prevent racial discrimination.
16. The State party is also
invited, in its next report, to provide further information on the following
issues: (a) the implementation of resolution No. 110 of the National
Council on Human Rights and National Minorities, which calls for, inter
alia, cooperation with NGOs to combat racial crimes and ongoing
training at all levels for professionals working within the criminal
justice system; and (b) comprehensive statistics on the number of racist
offences that are reported, including against the police, the number
of cases prosecuted, the reasons for not prosecuting, and the eventual
17. The Committee recommends
that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6,
of the Convention, adopted on 15 January 1992 at the Fourteenth Meeting
of States Parties to the Convention.
18. The Committee recommends
that the State party ensure the wide dissemination of the text of the
Convention and make its periodic reports readily available to the public
from the time they are submitted, and that the Committee's concluding
observations on them be similarly publicized.
19. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next periodic report be an updating report, and
that it addresses the points raised in the present observations.