In this section, you will find information about where and how to submit a complaint about discrimination in Slovakia. In Slovakia, the right to seek legal protection and remedy in cases of discrimination is explicitly enshrined in the Anti-discrimination Act

Before you make a formal complaint, it is important to understand what you want to achieve. If your rights have been violated, you are entitled to a remedy, which can take many forms like an apology, compensation, reinstatement etc. Before you decide to complain, it is important to understand which form of remedy you are willing to receive.

Informal complaint

Sometimes it is better to try to resolve the problem informally first. You can raise the issue with your employer, educational institution, service provider, etc., depending, of course, on where you have experienced the discrimination. This may save the time and costs of legal proceedings. If you have not received any response, or the response was not satisfactory, you may decide to proceed with a formal complaint.

Internal complaints mechanism

The Slovakian Labour Code stipulates the rights of the employee to submit a complaint to his employer objecting violation of the principle of equal treatment. The employer shall be obliged to respond without undue delay, provide redress and eliminate consequences of discriminative conduct. In practice, this mechanism is used very rarely.


The anti-discrimination law allows for seeking remedy also through mediation. The agreement achieved by mediation is binding on both sides of the dispute. If the agreement is fixed in notary minutes and approved by a court, it is legally enforceable.

Formal complaints to state institutions and courts

Sometimes it is better to start with a complaint to the state institutions – either special institutions established by law or sectoral institutions – dealing with discrimination (and human rights) in general or which have control over a particular sector. In Slovakia, there is a special institution mandated by law to oversee the implementation of the Anti-discrimination Act, which is the Slovak National Centre of Human Rights. In addition, there are various state institutions that have the task of overseeing activities in different sectors, such as employment, health, education, the provision of goods and services etc. 

important If you choose to complain to these specialized authorities first, you must be careful not to miss procedural deadlines for filing the complaint in court, which in some cases is the only authority that can decisively resolve your discrimination case and award compensation.

Anti-discrimination disputes in judicial proceedings

In Slovakia, unless the alleged conduct falls under the scope of the Penal Code, discrimination disputes (i.e., disputes falling under the scope of the Antidiscrimination Act) are dealt with before the court of general jurisdiction, according to a special procedure set in the Code of Civil Adversarial Proceeding. This procedure applies disregarding of whether the alleged perpetrator is a private or a public entity.

Administrative sanctions

In accordance with the Slovakian Act on Minor Offences, an administrative fine of up to 500 euro may be imposed by Police or the local state-administration authority for public use of any material propagating or advocating hatred or differential treatment against a group of persons or an individual on grounds of their race, colour, nationality, ethnic affiliation, gender or religion. Some offences against civil coexistence may also be qualified as acts of discrimination. In these cases, you can file a complaint to the Police or to the local state administration authority who would deal with the complaint and could impose a fine.

In employment, a fine may be imposed by the National Labour Inspectorate; in other fields, it may be imposed by another sectoral inspectoral institution.

Criminal sanctions

Discrimination is punishable under the Slovakian Penal Code if it has caused grave consequences. Discrimination cases under the Penal Code can be subsumed under the title Supporting and Promoting Groups Aimed at Suppression of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms and, especially Articles 423 and 424: Defamation of Nation, Race and Belief as well as Incitement of National, Racial and Ethnic Hatred. In contrast to the title of the Article, it includes also sexual orientation, colour, religious belief or absence of belief as protected grounds.

If such discriminatory conduct is committed by a public official, or as a member of an organised group, or based on a biased motive, or in crisis situation, the penalty will be higher. If you are a victim of differential treatment on grounds named in the cited articles of the Penal Code, you should submit a complaint to the Police or to the Prosecutors Office and the procedure will follow the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Complaints to international human rights bodies

If you think that the violation of your rights has not been remedied by Slovakian institutions or courts, you should submit a complaint to international and European institutions, such as the European Court of Human Rights or the UN Human Rights Committee.

About this section

This section of the Guide will explain, how and where to complain about discrimination, and where to seek help.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education