National Centre for Human Rights

Overview:

The Slovak National Centre for Human unites the mandate of a sole National Human Rights Institution and National Equality Body in Slovakia. It comprises of number of human rights and legal experts motivated to protect, promote human rights and provide legal assistance to victims of discrimination and manifestations of intolerance in Slovakia as stipulated in its mandate.

Brief history

The Slovak National Centre for Human Rights (Centre) was established by the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No 308/1993 Coll. adopted by the National Council of the Slovak Republic on 15 December 1993 on Establishment of the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights (Act on the Establishment of the Centre) which entered into force on 1 January 1994. The Centre was founded under the UN Project (SLO/94/AH/2) “Establishment of a National Institute for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights”, and under the International Agreement between the Government of the Slovak Republic and the United Nations.
The Government of the Slovak Republic approved the project documentation by the resolution No. 430 from 15 June 1993. Consequently on 9 March 1994 in Geneva, the Government of the Slovak Republic and the United Nations signed the agreement declaring the establishment of the Centre based on the UN Project (SLO/94/AH/2). The agreement between the Government of the Slovak Republic and UN, published under the No. 29/1995 Coll., entered into force on 9 June 1994. The main purpose of the agreement was to provide The Centre’s Voluntary Fund with the financial aid from the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands in order to cover the Centre’s functional, operating and program expenditures linked with the protection and promotion of human rights in the Slovak Republic during its initial period of two years (from 1 January 1993 to 31 December 1995). The Government of the Slovak Republic was obliged by the agreement to provide the Centre with the financial support and to guarantee its legal and operative independence after two years of initial period.

The Centre as National Equality Body:
The Centre’s activities and its position are extended by the Act No. 365/2004 Coll. on Equal Treatment and Protection against Discrimination (Antidiscrimination Act). By adopting this Act the Slovak Republic incorporated into its legislation the antidiscrimination directives of the European Union. By the means of implementation of Antidiscrimination Act the Centre’s Act on Establishment was amended and the Centre’s mandate was extended. The Centre is the only institution for the protection of equality in the Slovak Republic. Moreover, the Centre is the only institution with legal competencies within the field of protection of the principle of equal treatment. Apart from the competencies of a National Human Rights Institution, the Centre, thus, possesses the authority to protect the principle of equal treatment.
The Centre’s mandate has been extended also recently. Pursuant to the Act No. 307/2014 Coll. on certain provisions on reporting criminal social conduct and amending and supplementing certain other laws, the Centre has a task to regularly evaluate and publish legal documents, court decisions, certain provisions and other relevant information related to criminal social conduct and protection in accordance with the present Act.
Hence, the Centre nowadays operates as a B-status accredited National Human Rights Institution and Equality body with a rather broad mandate.

Mandate Type

Predominantly promotion-type and legal support body

Litigation power:

  • Representing in front of courts
  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • Intervening before the court
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding

Activities

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Our institution has a mandate to deal with:

  • Hate crime
  • Hate speech
  • Freedom of movement for workers

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)14182335249726212431217119717090
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)14182335249726212431217119717090
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media79212836401141177158

Other informations about the statistics

In 2017, the Centre adopted new methodolgy of registering complaints received and handled. That is why the number differs so significantly.

Management

  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

Management details

Executive Director (ED) is a statutory body, who controls and oversees the Centre´s activities, elected and recalled by the Administrative Board. ED accounts to AB for the operation of the Centre; due economy and accounting; performance of decisions of AB;preparation of annual reports on the observance of human rights, annual reports on the activities of the Centre, the financial statement of the Centre and annual financial report.

Additional details

Note:with currently held staff positions

1. Executive Director
2. Office of the Executive Director (Head of Office, Assistant of the Executive Director)
2.1 External Relations Unit (Legal Expert for External Relations, Expert for External Relations, Communication Officer)
2.2 National Focal Point for Business and Human Rights
3. Legal Department (Head of Department, Lawyers, Legal assistant)
4. Department of Research and Education (Head of Department, Lectureres, Researchers)
5. Regional Offices – Žilina (Lawyer, Lecturer), Banská Bystrica (Lawyer), Košice (Lawyer, Lecturer).

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Executive Director (a statutory body of the Centre) is elected and recalled by the members of the Administrative Board (AB) for a three-year tenure following proposals submitted by the members of AB. Article 3b (2) of the Act No 308/1993 Coll. on the Establishment of the Centre specifies that an unimpeachable person with education of second grade and active in the area of protection of human rights or children´s right can be elected as the Executive Director. A person is considered unimpeachable in case he/she has not been lawfully sentenced for a deliberate criminal act or for a criminal act for which the person was imposed an unconditional sentence of imprisonment. The unimpeachability is to be shown by an extract from the Criminal record not older than three months. The same person may be elected as the Executive Director for not more than two consecutive tenures. The performance of a position of Executive Director terminates by expiring of the tenure, by resignation, by recalling by AB due to a failure to perform his/her duties for more than six months or due to a serious violation of obligations of the Executive Director, in case of death of an Executive Director, by recalling due to his/her lawful conviction for a deliberate criminal act or a criminal act for which he/she was imposed an unconditional sentence of imprisonment.
Article 3a (1) of the Act No 308/1993 Coll. on the Establishment of the Centre specifies the composition of AB of the Centre. The AB consists of 9 members selected from persons enjoying natural authority and trust in the field of protection of human rights. Members of the AB comprise the members appointed by the President of the Slovak Republic, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Public Defender of Rights, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Matej Bel in Banská Bystrica, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Trnava, Prime Minister of the Government of the Slovak Republic following the proposal of non-governmental organizations; procedure of submitting a proposal to appoint a member of the Administrative Board is determined by the Prime Minister of the Government of the Slovak Republic, Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic. Each of the listed appoints one member.
The criteria for choosing an appointee for the AB are set by the given institution which chooses the nominee. However a nominee for the AB of the Centre has to be a person who is active in the field of human rights, upright with a good moral character. The tenure of a member of the Ab is three years and commences on the date given in the letter of appointment. The letter of appointment of a member is delivered to the Centre by the person appointing the given member. The reappointment of the member is possible and the same person may be appointed for a member of the AB for not more than two consecutive terms of office. The grounds and procedures of the termination of membership in the AB of the Centre is stated in Article 3a(4-6) of the Act No 308/1993 Coll. on the Establishment of the Centre. The membership is terminated by expiring of tenure, by resignation (in such case the member who has resigned is obliged to notify the person having appointed him/her of the termination of the membership), by recalling of a member (by the person having appointed him/her provided that the member failed to participate in the three consecutive meetings of the AB without giving any serious reasons), by death of a member (in such case the termination is notified to the person having appointed the passed-away member by the Chairperson of the AB or by the Executive Director when a Chairperson is not available).

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2417121111.512.513151618

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Age
Disability
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief
Other grounds:

The Executive Director (a statutory body of the Centre) is elected and recalled by the members of the Administrative Board (AB) for a three-year tenure following proposals submitted by the members of AB. Article 3b (2) of the Act No 308/1993 Coll. on the Establishment of the Centre specifies that an unimpeachable person with education of second grade and active in the area of protection of human rights or children´s right can be elected as the Executive Director. A person is considered unimpeachable in case he/she has not been lawfully sentenced for a deliberate criminal act or for a criminal act for which the person was imposed an unconditional sentence of imprisonment. The unimpeachability is to be shown by an extract from the Criminal record not older than three months. The same person may be elected as the Executive Director for not more than two consecutive tenures. The performance of a position of Executive Director terminates by expiring of the tenure, by resignation, by recalling by AB due to a failure to perform his/her duties for more than six months or due to a serious violation of obligations of the Executive Director, in case of death of an Executive Director, by recalling due to his/her lawful conviction for a deliberate criminal act or a criminal act for which he/she was imposed an unconditional sentence of imprisonment.
Article 3a (1) of the Act No 308/1993 Coll. on the Establishment of the Centre specifies the composition of AB of the Centre. The AB consists of 9 members selected from persons enjoying natural authority and trust in the field of protection of human rights. Members of the AB comprise the members appointed by the President of the Slovak Republic, Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Public Defender of Rights, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Matej Bel in Banská Bystrica, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Trnava, Prime Minister of the Government of the Slovak Republic following the proposal of non-governmental organizations; procedure of submitting a proposal to appoint a member of the Administrative Board is determined by the Prime Minister of the Government of the Slovak Republic, Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic. Each of the listed appoints one member.
The criteria for choosing an appointee for the AB are set by the given institution which chooses the nominee. However a nominee for the AB of the Centre has to be a person who is active in the field of human rights, upright with a good moral character. The tenure of a member of the Ab is three years and commences on the date given in the letter of appointment. The letter of appointment of a member is delivered to the Centre by the person appointing the given member. The reappointment of the member is possible and the same person may be appointed for a member of the AB for not more than two consecutive terms of office. The grounds and procedures of the termination of membership in the AB of the Centre is stated in Article 3a(4-6) of the Act No 308/1993 Coll. on the Establishment of the Centre. The membership is terminated by expiring of tenure, by resignation (in such case the member who has resigned is obliged to notify the person having appointed him/her of the termination of the membership), by recalling of a member (by the person having appointed him/her provided that the member failed to participate in the three consecutive meetings of the AB without giving any serious reasons), by death of a member (in such case the termination is notified to the person having appointed the passed-away member by the Chairperson of the AB or by the Executive Director when a Chairperson is not available).

Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
643081528464528464578501518242518242518242553242553242553242

We are accountable to

  • National audit institution (i.e. for financial reporting)