UN Committee slams Slovakia for violence against Roma

THE COMMITTEE Against Torture (CAT) of the United Nations slams Slovakia, citing violence and the state of the judiciary as the most troublesome issues.

Moldava nad Bodvou, Roma settlementMoldava nad Bodvou, Roma settlement (Source: Sme)

The CAT criticises Slovakia due to violence against Roma, overly long pre-trial custody and slow courts, the SITA newswire wrote. It is concerned about excessive use of force on the part of the police after detention and also about Slovakia being a country of origin for human trafficking, SITA wrote on December 16.

Other subjects of reproach by the committee are lack of psychiatrists in the prison network and the forced sterilisation of Roma women. Members of the committee were interested in the general situation of Roma, especially police raids in settlements, education of Roma children, work of Roma civic patrols and investigations of sterilisation of Roma women. Afterwards, the committee issued several recommendations for Slovakia, while also questioning the duration of some individual police interventions and the impartiality and effectiveness of such investigations carried out by the Interior Ministry inspectorate. CAT stressed that no charges have been made against police officers who participated in the raid in June 2013 in the Roma settlement of Moldava nad Bodvou. But it also praised the progress in the fight against domestic violence.

The CAT discussed in July 2015 the third periodical report of Slovakia regarding implementing the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which had been elaborated by the Slovak Foreign Ministry. The Slovak government at its December 16 session acknowledged this report.

The UN committee expects the state to deal with the recommendations and to adopt measures to implement them. By August 14, 2016, Slovakia shall inform the CAT on how the recommendations have been implemented.  

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