Slovak Parliament Adopts Anti-Discrimination Law

29 July 2004

On May 20, 2004, Slovak Parliament adopted the new Law on Equal Treatment and on Protec-tion Against Discrimination, according to the Slovak English-language newspaper Slovak Spectator of May 31, 2004. The law transposes the provisions of the Council of the European Union's Directive 2000/43 on "implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin". From July 1, 2004, discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, religion, health or sexual orientation, will be illegal. The new bill covers both direct and indirect discrimination and harassment, incitement to xenophobia and allows positive action with regard to disadvantaged racial or ethnic groups. The law also grants more power to the Slovak National Centre for Hu-man Rights in implementing the anti-discrimination law. Ms Klara Orgovánová, the Slovak government's plenipotentiary for Romani issues, reportedly stated that the new law would improve the situation of Roma in the country.

Shortly after the law was passed, Slovak Justice Minister Mr Daniel Lipšic announced that he would bring a motion before the Constitutional Court against the law's "positive discrimination" clause, arguing that such measures "degrade the human dignity and strengthen stereotypes" about certain groups. (ERRC, Slovak Spectator)


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