Slovakia: Alternative report calls for action on inclusive education, legal capacity

In collaboration with a broad coalition of human rights organisations and the Slovak Disability Council, MDAC has submitted extensive information on Slovakia's efforts to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the country ratified in 2010. The report provides alternative information to the Government's report and highlights a number of human rights violations faced by people with mental disabilities.

The report points out that the Slovak Government has failed to take steps to implement Article 12 of the CRPD which demands the right to equal recognition before the law for all persons with disabilities. Instead, provisions of the Civil Code still allow for courts to strip the legal personhood of people with mental disabilities, subjecting them to the decisions made by a guardian. Little progress has been made to develop alternatives to this outdated guardianship system, and to provide the support that people with disabilities may need to make decisions in their lives.

The system also results in other violations of the rights of people with mental disabilities in Slovakia, including denial of the right to vote in elections (Article 29 CRPD) and the right to marry (Article 23 CRPD). They are also barred from initiating legal proceedings where they have suffered human rights violations (Article 13 CRPD).

Regarding education for children with disabilities, the report reveals that 20,639 children with mental disabilities in Slovakia were educated in segregated settings. This demonstrates an abysmal lack of commitment to inclusive education for children with disabilities, in line with Article 24 of the CRPD, and an unacceptable failure to amend national education law or policy. Henceforth, MDAC and our partners urge the State to take concrete steps to reverse this mass segregation and develop a system which guarantees all children's right to high quality, inclusive education, where they can access the support they need to achieve their full potential.

The report also touches on many other matters of concern, including long term institutionalisation of people with disabilities, and the denial of legal aid to those who have been victims of human rights violations. It is hoped that it will be useful to the CRPD Committee as it reviews Slovakia’s implementation of the Convention next year, as well as raising the rights of people with disabilities higher on the public agenda in the country. 

You can read the full report here (PDF).

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