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Human rights champions push for strategy’s completion

DOZENS of human rights advocates have come together to condemn verbal attacks and activities disgracing the preparations of the national strategy for the protection and promotion of human rights in Slovakia. They expressed their support for this strategy document as well as all other government efforts leading to an improvement in human rights protection in the country at a press conference October 24, the SITA newswire reported.

DOZENS of human rights advocates have come together to condemn verbal attacks and activities disgracing the preparations of the national strategy for the protection and promotion of human rights in Slovakia. They expressed their support for this strategy document as well as all other government efforts leading to an improvement in human rights protection in the country at a press conference October 24, the SITA newswire reported.

The human right activists and NGO representatives drafted and signed a declaration in which they call on the government to clearly stand behind the prepared national human rights strategy and to not succumb to the wave of criticism coming mainly from Christian organizations.

Discussions about the document focused especially on support for the rights of sexual minorities. Opponents of this idea did not shy away from verbally attacking representatives of the Foreign Ministry, namely the Human Rights Council Secretary Barbara Illková.

Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák is responsible for drafting the strategy. In September, his department informed that it was considering filing criminal complaints against certain individuals who have attacked the ministry verbally.

The signatories of declaration warn that the strategy is not just about the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Its task is to determine the scope of protection of all vulnerable groups including children, the elderly, ethnic, religious and ethnic communities, people with no religion, women, migrants, refugees, people with disabilities and people living below the poverty line, SITA cited from their declaration.

Following the intensifying attacks against the document, the deadline for its submission was postponed from September 30 to the end of June 2014.

The declaration was signed by 40 representatives of NGOs and civil society organizations and 23 individuals. Among them are representatives of associations and organizations the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Možnosť Voľby (ProChoice), the Milan Šimečka Foundation, Center for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture, Institute for Public Affairs, People Against Racism, Initiative Otherness, Slovak Anti-Poverty Network, SOCIA, Roma Institute, Slovak UNICEF Committee, and Amnesty International Slovakia.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
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