Ongoing projects

The Centre is currently implementing following projects:

Fostering gender equality and work-life balance in Slovakia

This project is funded under the program “Domestic and Gender-Based Violence” of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for the years 2014 – 2021 and co-financed from the state budget.

Implementation period: 8/2020 – 4/2024

Project partner: civil society organisation Možnosť voľby (Freedom of Choice)

Description of the project

Slovakia received the overall score of 66.8 in the employment and work category of the European Institute for Gender Equality’s annual Gender Equality Index. Women in Slovakia work for fewer years than men over the course of their lives. In Slovakia, men work for up to 37 years during their lives, while women work for only 32 years, which is still less than the EU average. In Slovakia, the majority of women work full-time. Part-time female workers are either unable to find a suitable full-time job or their employers are unwilling to allow them to work full-time due to a lack of work.

Work quality and segregation in the labor market

In Slovakia, work quality and labor market segregation persist problematic. Women are overrepresented in low-wage sectors of the economy, and women’s access to better-paying jobs is limited. Education, social services and health care are examples of such sectors. In Slovakia, for example, there are more women than men working in education. Women, on the other hand, are disproportionately represented in lower and less/lower-paid positions (e.g. teacher, tutor, teaching assistant), whereas men are disproportionately represented in senior and managerial positions (e.g. director).

Gender pay gap

We have seen a slight improvement in equal pay since Slovakia joined the European Union. However, according to Eurostat, Slovakia continues to have one of the largest pay disparities in the EU, with a pay gap up to 19,4 % (2018). The average hourly wage for men is 7,40 EUR, while the average hourly wage for women is 6 EUR. Women in Slovakia, on the other hand, work 5 hours less per month than men. The remuneration system is largely tailored to men’s life cycles. For example, experience gained outside of paid work (such as child and family care) is not considered when hiring or remunerating employees. Women are thus subjected to multiple forms of discrimination, not only because of their gender, but also because of their motherhood and parenthood situation.

The project objectives

In Slovakia, the state of gender equality situation is not encouraging. Gender equality and its importance in the Slovak society is stagnating, and is largely influenced by stereotypes, prejudices, hoaxes and misinformation spread primarily online. As a result, the project focuses on raising awareness on gender equality among young people who are getting their first job experience (through education and youth work, communication campaign), mapping the state of gender equality in the workplace and the needs of vulnerable groups (through public consultations), sensitizing male and female employees working in the private sector (through training and adult work), and networking experts at national and european level to exchange good practice and support social innovations in the area of gender equality.

Planned outputs of the project

  • Public consultations with employees
  • Public consultations with employers
  • Communication campaign
  • Youth work and education 
  • Adult sensitization activities
  • International conference on gender equality and work-life balance

Affirmative actions to increase employment and training of Roma

The project is supported by the financial contribution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands.

Implementation period: 9/2021 – 4/2024

Project partners: Agentúra práce BBSK, n.o. a Stiftelsen Mangfold i Arbeidslivet

Description of the project

Affirmative actions (AA) represent specific measures to balance inequities and advantages of particular groups of persons. They lead to securing equality in access to employment, education, health care or housing. The underlying idea behind the concept of AA is that not all individuals have the same opportunities to get education or find a job not due to their own fault but due to membership of a disadvantaged group.

Insufficient use of AA in practice

Despite the fact that AA represent an effective tool to balance opportunities also for persons from the marginalized Roma communities, a survey of the Centre has shown that the awareness on their implementation is low in Slovakia and the entitled subjects adopt AA in very limited numbers. Employers tend to misinterpret the antidiscrimination legislation and see AA as a positive discrimination or even as violation of the law. Employers are thus often reluctant to initiate any activities explicitly or exclusively targeting Roma, believing that such measures could be unjust towards other groups of possible employees.

The project objectives

The project aims to increase awareness and more effective use of AA to employ Roma, in particular, members of the marginalized Roma communities. Its objective is to increase technical capacities of employers to adopt, implement and assess effective AA to employ persons from marginalized Roma communities and thus contribute to social inclusion of Roma communities. The project focuses on presenting promising practices, promotes mutual learning and networking among employers and other key stakeholders actively operating in Roma communities. It helps employers to get understanding of non-discrimination and diversity establishing their full capacities do adopt effective AA that mitigate negative impacts of discrimination on marginalized Roma communities.

Besides creation of jobs, the project also focuses on vocational training and education, elimination of discrimination and promotion of equal opportunities for Roma in the area of employment, eradication of poverty and marginalization, as well as on promoting gender equality.

The project builds on a fair partnership among employer capable to provide jobs, community centers and non-governmental organizations working with people from the Roma communities and organizations that support employers and community centers in their mutual effort to increase employment rates of Roma.

Outputs of the project

  • Study about the practical use of AA in Slovakia and abroad (mainly in the European Union Member States)
  • Guidebook on AA for employers – guidelines on “how to design, implement and evaluate” a successful AA for newbies
  • Seminar on AA and diversity management at workplace in the context of employing people from marginalized Roma communities
  • Networking events aimed to foster partnerships among key stakeholders in the area of employment (e.g. workers organizations, commerce chambers, trade unions, professional associations)
  • Recruitment of employers, consultancies for employers and implementation of AA in the area of employment and vocational education and training of Roma
  • Recruitment of community centers and non-governmental organizations operating in Roma communities and trainings in the provision of supported employment services
  • Guide to providing employment services to persons from marginalized Roma communities
  • Proposals of the policy updates to eliminate structural obstacles to employing Roma and to facilitate implementation of AA in the area of employment

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 outputs 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
  • Short video presenting the Tracking Tool
  • Web application

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.

Planned 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 reporting