Slovakia (CEDAW 25-11-2015)
The Committee considered the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Slovakia (CEDAW/C/SVK/5-6) at its 1359th and 1360th meetings, on 12 November 2015 (see CEDAW/C/SR.1359 and 1360). The Committee’s list of issues and questions is contained in CEDAW/C/SVK/Q/5-6 and the responses of Slovakia are contained in CEDAW/C/SVK/Q/5-6/Add.1.
C. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
Disadvantaged and marginalized groups of women
- The Committee notes with concern the impact of intersecting forms of discrimination on disadvantaged and marginalized groups of women in the State party. In particular, the Committee is concerned about:
(a) The persisting segregation of Roma in separate settlements, including by constructing walls and other physical separations, the limited access of Roma women to land tenure, the reports of frequent violent raids by the police on Roma settlements, resulting in casualties and the displacement of residents, including women and children, and the lack of investigation into the excessive use of force and misconduct by the police;
(b) The heightened risk of violence, labour exploitation and racially motivated acts faced by migrant women;
(c) Reports that, when transgender and intersex women seek to change their legally recognized gender, they are required to undergo medical treatment, which does not respect the freedom to control one’s body;
(d) The lack of comprehensive data on women facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, which prevents the State party from obtaining a basis for informed and targeted policy to address their situation with regard to all areas covered by the Convention.
- The Committee urges the State party:
(a) To review its laws and policies on land and housing, including the Construction Act, with the participation of Roma women, to ensure that they can fully enjoy their rights to adequate housing, education and family and private life without discrimination and fear of segregation, forced eviction and displacement, and establish and enforce a strict code of conduct for the police so as to effectively guarantee respect for women’s human rights in all their operations;
(b) To introduce protective measures for all migrant women, including undocumented migrant women, at particular risk of violence, strengthen labour inspections of workplaces, including private households, and take specific measures to protect all migrant women from racially motivated acts;
(c) To review current laws and take measures to ensure that the rights of transgender and intersex women and girls to control their bodies are respected and protected and that they are free from non-consensual medical treatment, including by abolishing the requirement of compulsory sterilization and surgery for transgender women who wish to obtain legal recognition of their gender.
- The Committee recommends that the State party enhance the collection of data disaggregated by sex, age, ethnicity, geographical location and socioeconomic background, in all areas covered by the Convention, in particular on women facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including women belonging to Roma and other ethnic minorities, migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women, women with disabilities and lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women. In doing so, the Committee encourages the State party:
(a) To collect data on ethnicity based on the principle of self-identification and anonymity;
(b) To involve the population groups being surveyed in the data-definition and data-collection processes;
(c) To ensure the stringent protection of personal information throughout the data-collection process, including the collection, processing and dissemination of data.
- The Committee is further concerned at the recent resurgence of the negative discourse by political leaders, private organizations and religious groups and of violence directed against Roma women and women belonging to other ethnic minority groups, migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women.
- The Committee urges the State party:
(a) To amend its legislation to explicitly prohibit, as a separate crime, hate speech against lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex women;
(b) To ensure that the prohibition of hate crimes and hate speech under the Anti-Discrimination Act and the Criminal Code is strictly enforced and that judges, prosecutors, police officers and other law enforcement officials are adequately trained to recognize and effectively address such incidents;
(c) To publicly condemn racially motivated and homophobic discourse and violence, including manifestations of racism and homophobia in the media and on the Internet, and strengthen efforts to promote tolerance and respect for diversity;
(d) To take an inclusive and non-selective approach in upholding the principle of non-refoulement and a gender-sensitive approach to the continuing refugee inflows and asylum claims, including in procedural matters, in line with the rights covered in the Convention and in the Committee’s general recommendation No. 32 (2014) on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women.