State institutions

If you think you have been discriminated against, you have the right to complain to different state institutions. You must choose the relevant state institution, applicable to your situation.

There are several state institutions in Slovakia that may take action in cases of discrimination. You can generally choose the relevant state institution depending on the field in which you have experienced discrimination.

Important In most cases, such institutions are entitled to issue a decision and/or impose a fine. If you are seeking compensation, you could consider bringing a claim before a court.

Public Defender of Rights (Ombudsperson)

In many countries, the Ombudsperson is in charge of implementing the principle of equality and non-discrimination. The Ombudsperson is entitled to review the case, issue an opinion and in some countries even to bring a claim on behalf of the victim, before a court in a civil or administrative case. 

In Slovakia, however, the competence of the Public Defender of Rights does not extend to courts, except for delays in court proceedings. Moreover, in discrimination issues the Ombudsperson in Slovakia can only act in cases when the discrimination occurs in conjunction with the violation of a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution by a public administration body. More information is available here: Ombudsperson.

Slovak National Centre for Human Rights

The Slovak National Centre for Human rights is a special institution established by law, in accordance with so-called Paris Principles of the United Nations related to National Human Rights Institutions. With the accession of the Slovak Republic to the European Union, the Centre was mandated by another important function, namely to be the Slovakian Equality Body, i.e., the institution for monitoring and supervising the implementation of the Anti-discrimination Act. The Centre can bring discrimination complaints to court on behalf of either identified or non-identified victims, it can also intervene in legal cases concerning discrimination as amicus curiae, i.e., provide on its own initiative its legal opinion related to a case. The Centre can also initiate strategic litigation through actio popularis on its own name, i.e., can initiate an action on behalf of a large group of people or a group of people of unidentified number. However, such an action has not yet been initiated. The Centre is entitled to provide legal representation to complainants in disputes concerning the violation of the principle of equal treatment before the Supreme Court, however, it cannot represent claimants before the Constitutional Court. 

Commissioner for the Rights of the Child and Commissioner for the Rights of the Disabled

In 2015, two special state institutions were established in Slovakia for protection and promotion of the rights of the child and of persons with disabilities, pursuant to the provisions of the UN Convention on the Right of the Child and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The main difference compared to the general ombudsperson (the Public Defender of Rights) lies in the personal scope of their mandate, which extends not only to public administration bodies but also to private legal entities and natural persons – entrepreneurs, i.e., the Commissioners can deal with matters related to “horizontal” discrimination. However, their mandate is restricted to receiving complaints, providing investigation, issuing opinions, standpoints and recommendations, and to participate at court proceedings. 

Sectoral institutions

Your complaint can be resolved by a relevant sector-specific institution if you have been discriminated against in the following areas:

Employment

If you believe your employer has discriminated against you, you can submit a complaint to the Labour Inspectorate (regional office). You can also complain to the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, if you believe that you have been discriminated against in your access to employment or in seeking a job.

You can appeal a decision of the Labour Inspectorate further to the Director of the National Labour Inspectorate and subsequently, to the Ministry of Labour. If you fail, you may proceed to the court

 

If you believe you have been discriminated against, as a state official or a candidate for a position of a civil servant, you can submit a complaint to a higher institution and subsequently, to the court.

Health

If you believe that you have been discriminated against in access to medical care or have received insufficient quality medical care on discriminatory grounds, you may submit a complaint to the Health Care Surveillance Authority.

You can appeal the decision to the Chairman of the Authority and, if you fail, to the court.

Education

If you believe that an education institution has discriminated against you, you can submit a complaint to the State School Inspectorate. You can appeal its decision to the Ministry of Education and subsequently, you can bring your case to the court.

Goods and Services

If your complaint concerns discrimination in access to goods and services, you can make a complaint to the Central Inspectorate of the Slovak Trade Inspection and, subsequently or independently, you can bring your case to the court. This procedure is laid down by law.

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education