The Labour Ministry has not scrapped the accreditation of the resocialisation centre, Čistý Deň (Clean Day) in Galanta (Trnava Region), which faces accusations of abusing its clients.
Labour Minister Ján Richter (Smer) told the press on March 1 that they had not revealed any deeds that would lead to the endangerment of the children. However, since the police and also the prosecutor’s office are continuing their investigations into some of the suspicions, the ministry is ready to respond to their findings and if necessary, scrap the accreditation.
“We came to this conclusion based on all previous inquiries, our own and also the ones carried out by the anti-criminal authorities,” Richter said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
Regarding the suspicions of crimes being committed in Čistý Deň, the ministry could use only the findings of the police and the prosecutor’s office that are currently investigating them, the minister added.
“The Labour Ministry is not able to verify the claims that crimes have been committed,” Richter said, as quoted by SITA, adding that the police have not closed any of the four investigations yet but neither have they brought any charges.
Though the ministry revealed some violations concerning the protection of children, they were only minor and did not pose a reason to scrap the accreditation. Although the accreditation commission recommended the ministry to withdraw it, Richter said that this was done when the scandal started and at the time they did not have enough information, as reported by SITA.
The practices in the resocialisation centre have also been criticised by Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová.
The centre’s head Peter Tománek meanwhile confirmed the decision of the ministry, saying that since they have not appealed the decision, it should be valid. He also claimed that the whole case concerning the alleged sexual abuse of a female minor, who was named as Natália, was a prearranged political action, the TASR newswire wrote.
He referred to the fact that the information about the case first came to public attention when Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MP Natália Blahová wrote about the abuse in her blog in September 2016.
As a response to the decision to keep the accreditation of Čistý Deň, the opposition parties SaS and Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA) now want to initiate a no-confidence vote against Richter.
Slovakia now has a facility where the state tolerates and conceals the abuse of children, their beating, bad treatment and sexual abuse, said SaS chair Richard Sulík.
“The Labour Ministry said that despite the huge failures in this facility it will be allowed to continue in its activities,” Sulík said, as quoted by SITA.
Blahová called the case a scandal of international proportions where the violation of human and children’s rights, the verifiable violation of laws and suspicions of crime are concealed by the government, as reported by SITA.
OĽaNO-NOVA MP Erika Jurinová does not understand how the ministry could afford to ignore the recommendation of the accreditation commission, saying that it seems the ministry does not realise this is a violation of children’s rights.
“It seems that the minister is so egoistical that he prefers his political interest to the protection of children,” Jurinová said, as quoted by SITA.