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UN concerned about rights of Roma and LGBTI in Slovakia

PEOPLE of Roma ethnicity living in Slovakia continue to fall victim to discrimination and segregation, which is a cause for concern, according to the United Nations.

PEOPLE of Roma ethnicity living in Slovakia continue to fall victim to discrimination and segregation, which is a cause for concern, according to the United Nations.

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights pointed to several groups in Slovakia whose internationally acknowledged rights continue to be violated, in its concluding observations to the second periodic report of Slovakia on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the Slovak cabinet approved at its July 3 session.

The committee considered the second periodic report of Slovakia in early May 2012.

“The committee is concerned by the fact that the Roma continue to be victims of discrimination, particularly in the areas of education, employment, health and housing,” the document reads. “The Committee regrets that the state party has not furnished it with statistics on this subject.”

Regarding discrimination against Roma, the committee recommended that Slovakia should “undertake steps to promote the rights of the Roma, with regard to access to employment, education, housing and health”.

Slovakia should pass the bill on marginalised communities and enforce it once it is passed, the committee recommends.

The government’s plenipotentiary for Roma communities, Peter Pollák, said he was preparing a Nationwide Strategy of Protection and Support of Human Rights, as well as Slovakia’s strategy for Roma integration, the SITA newswire reported from the comments of the Slovak government.

The LGBTI community constitutes another concern for the committee in Slovakia, particularly the fact that “homosexual couples are not legally recognised” and that “a legal framework for the protection of the rights of couples” is missing. The committee recommended that Slovakia adopt the legislation that would grant legal recognition to homosexual couples and regulate the financial effects of such relationships.

In its reaction, the Justice Ministry pointed to the creation of the committee of LGBTI people, which should “constitute a platform for the public, social and expert discussion about the issues of LGBTI rights”, SITA wrote.

Other principal subjects of concern listed by the Committee include gender inequality and high unemployment rates, particularly among women, youth and marginalised communities.

The full text of the report is available here
www.refworld.org

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