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Equality and justice on the sidelines: Comparative report on discrimination against Roma and their access to justice in Slovakia and Slovenia

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Slovakian Roma women activists during a networking meeting

From an early age, Roma in Slovenia and Slovakia face widespread discrimination in various areas of their lives, including housing, education, employment, health care and policing, driven by persistent negative attitudes among the majority population towards Roma. Roma women often face multiple and intersectional discrimination based on their ethnicity and gender in both countries. The Covid-19 pandemic also amplified ongoing shortcomings in the protection of Roma rights.

As members of the European Union (EU), both countries have anti-discrimination legislation in place and an established equality body in compliance with the EU Racial Equality Directive. In practice, however, implementation remains poor: the number of cases of discrimination against Roma resolved by courts is still very low in both countries. Even among legal personnel, knowledge of anti-discrimination law is limited, and Roma themselves are often reluctant themselves to report incidents due to lack of awareness, mistrust of the judicial system or a generalized disbelief that their situation will change.

This publication, Equality and justice on the sidelines: Comparative report on discrimination against Roma and their access to justice in Slovakia and Slovenia, provides an overview of the current scope of discrimination against Roma, especially women, their lived experience and access to justice in Slovakia and Slovenia. Based on a combination of desk research and empirical study, namely a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with different stakeholders in both countries, it also includes a series of recommendations to achieve greater inclusion and equality in line with the stated commitment of both countries to protect their Roma populations.

Filed Under: Law, Roma, Slovakia, Slovenia
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