Fostering innovative approaches to rule of law monitoring in Slovakia
The project is supported by the financial contribution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands.
Implementation period: 11/2021 – 09/2022
Project partners: Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC), Transparency International Slovakia
Description of the project
The results of several existing monitoring tools, including the Eurobarometer, the European Rule of Law Mechanism, the European Union Justice Scoreboard, or the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index show that the rule of law in Slovakia has been systematically deteriorating, with growing concerns and challenges in some areas.
Therefore, it is necessary to focus on improving and finding innovative ways in promoting the strengthening of the rule of law. It is inevitable not only to identify the serious shortcomings in the selected areas, but also to focus on regular monitor of progress in the problematic areas.
Currently there is no comprehensive tool available, covering wide range of areas of rule of law that reflects data and information from Slovakia and that represents a smart mixture of quantitative and qualitative data. Such a monitoring tool would contribute to the overall improvement of the access to information on the state of rule of law and enhance the effectiveness of activities of key stakeholders working in the field.
The project objectives
The project aims at developing a practical and meaningful tool for monitoring and evaluating the state of rule of law in Slovakia. The project also aims to identify, monitor and evaluate the most searing flaws in the field by providing knowledge and insight in an accessible manner to a wide range of stakeholders.
Planned results of the project
Methodology of the Tracking Tool
Explanatory note introducing the purpose and application of the Tracking Tool
Participatory process including for example, surveys, online focus groups, thematic consultations and a roundtable with expert stakeholders
Launch of the Tracking Tool – small conference for key stakeholders
Enhancing the use of the reporting procedure of the European social charter in Slovakia with main focus on group 4 on children, families and migrants
This project is supported by the funding from the Council of Europe.
Implementation period: 05/2022 – 10/2022
Description of the project
The European Social Charter (ESC) is a Council of Europe treaty that guarantees fundamental social and economic rights. ESC guarantees a human rights related to employment, housing, health, education, social protection and welfare. Its implementation in Council of Europe´s member states is supervised by the European Committee of Social Rights under the established reporting procedure.
The reporting procedure aims to improve the realisation of the rights guaranteed by ESC, and to facilitate regular dialogue with states and the civil society organisations (CSOs). Under this procedure, states annually submit reports on the implementation of ESC. The monitoring procedure relies also on additional comments and information submitted by CSOs.
The CSOs reporting has not been fully explored in Slovakia and few CSOs actively sumit their comments and information to the European Committee of Social Rights. The Centre, thus, aims to strengthen capacities of local and grassroots organisations in Slovakia that play a key role in protecting and promoting economic and social rights at the national level and have first-hand information on the gaps in protection and challenges.
By building capacities of CSOs working with topics relevant for reporting in the upcoming year, the Centre will support their engagement in the reporting procedure and promote joint reporting initiatives. The cooperation with CSOs will also enable the Centre to gather information and data relevant for its own reporting. Consequently, the Centre will be able to better target its alternative report and prioritise issues covered so that its report complement comments submitted by CSOs.
The project objectives
The aim of the project is to enhance the use of the reporting procedure concerning the implementation of ESC in Slovakia with main focus on Group 4 Articles (Children, Families, Migrants) that are subject to reporting in 2023. In order to promote reporting of CSOs, the Centre will prepare a manual on applicable rules and deliver a capacity-building seminar for CSOs, which will also serve to gather information and data for the SNCHR´s 2023 submission to the reporting procedure. SNCHR will support joint reporting initiatives of CSOs, engage with CSOs and provide CSOs with a platform to effectively advocate for ratification of non-accepted provisions of the reported Articles.
Outputs of the project
- Report on identified challenges in implementation of the Group 4 Articles
- Internal database of CSOs working in the areas covered by the Group 4 Articles, including local and grassroots organisations
- Practical manual for CSOs on reporting to the European Committee of Social Rights
- Seminar for CSOs aimed at building capacity, networking and information gathering, followed up by a joint call to action advocating for ratification of non-accepted provisions of the Group 4 Articles
- Online consultancies for CSOs to address outstanding questions about reportin
FOSTERING DIVERSITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION IN SLOVAKIA (PRODISLO)
This project is funded by the European Commission’s 2014-2020 Programme – Equality, Rights, and Citizenship.
Implementation period: 4/2020 – 12/2021
Project partners: Pontis Foundation, European Community Studies Association (ESCA)
Description of the project
Despite the growing diversity of the Slovak society, prejudice and intolerance are still prevalent. According to a PwC Slovakia survey, 97 % of companies participating in the survey regard diversity and inclusion as one of their corporate values. However, more than half of these businesses (55 %) view these topics as a marketing tool for strengthening their labor market position. According to the PayLab Diversity study, 44 % of Slovak male and female employees have no experience with diversity in the workplace. If they have such experience, it is typically with mothers with small children, the elderly, or foreigners. While mothers and the elderly are positively perceived in the workplace, members of the LGBTIQ+ communities, people with disabilities and ethical minorities are perceived negatively.
According to a nationwide survey conducted by a civil society organisation Iniciatíva Inakosť (Initiative Otherness), 66 % of LGBTIQ+ male and female respondents are afraid to go to work, and 36 % of male and female respondents report having had a negative work experience related to their sexual orientation. Several multinational employers, in particular, support social and communication activities centered on the inclusion of male and female LGBTIQ+ employees in the workplace. However, systematic measures to adapt the workplace to the needs of LGBTIQ+ employees (e.g. adoption of appropriate recruitment policies, privacy safeguards or the use of inclusive language) are frequently lacking, even among large employers. This is primarily due to a lack of technical or human resources.
Persons with disabilities
When it comes to persons with disabilities, many employers in Slovakia fail to meet their obligations and refuse to hire them. Rather, they seek out various types of subsidiary fulfillment. More than half of employers who employ people with disabilities, according to the Institute for Labor and Family Research, make the type or extent of the disability a condition for employment. Many employers lack experience in creating jobs for people with disabilities and they frequently associate them with high costs or other challenges.
The high rate of unemployment among Roma men and women is concerning. In 2017, Roma men and women made up to 28% of the total number of unemployed people in Slovakia. Long-standing prejudice and discrimination against Roma men and women in Slovakia is the key barrier to their employment and inclusion in the workplace. The type of enterprise or employer where marginalized Roma are employed varies. The lack of qualifications of Roma male and female applicants, as well as their working habits, are the most significant barriers for larger employers and multinational corporations. It is primarily the prejudices of management and other employees in small and medium-sized businesses.
The project’s objectives
All vulnerable groups require a diverse and non-discriminatory working environment. Employees are more innovative, productive, and creative in problem solving when there is a culture of mutual respect, trust and empathy. It is also a useful tool for improving employee relations.
Given employers’ limited understanding of diversity in the workplace and male and female employees’ limited experience with diversity in the workplace, this project aimed to increase public awareness of diversity and non-discrimination in the workplace, build employers’ capacity to create, manage and maintain genuine diversity in the workplace, and measure and assess diversity in their respective workplace on a regular basis.
The project’s outputs
- Blended learning programme (online/offline) for employers – Introduction to Diversity and Non-Discrimination Management.
- Training activities (10 training activities) for public sector employers.
- International workshop at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021: Measuring Diversity and Equality in the Workplace.
- Communication campaign called “For Nice Mondays”. (vWatch video on youtube)
- Supporting Initiatives for Diversity Charter members (4 events).
- Case study on equal treatment, diversity and related measures in Slovakia.
- Tool for measuring diversity in the workplace – Diversity Index.