A Human Rights Treaty Finally Recognizes the Right to Palliative Care



For years, international conventions have protected the rights of children, women, and people with disabilities – groups recognized as vulnerable to marginalization and human rights violations. Yet the rights of older persons, who are susceptible to the same violations, have been woefully neglected in the human rights framework. Finally, there’s a sign that this is beginning to change. In late June, the Organization of American States released a resolution in which member countries adopted the Inter-American Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons. It was immediately signed by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and Uruguay, and completed in record time, with drafting efforts initiated in 2012 and final text approved in 2015. The convention recognizes that older persons should enjoy all existing human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis, and is based on general principles including dignity, independence, proactivity, autonomy, and full and productive integration into society. Čítajte viac

Maternity wards have a problem with attitude


The Slovak Spectator

Maternity wards in the Trnava and Bratislava regions were recently called out for violations of human rights. Were the claims exaggerated? A mother who gave birth both in Canada and Trnava compares.

No matter what country, the birth experience is highly dependent on individual hospital staff, their characters and attitudes. I had friendly doctors both in Canada and Trnava. My last birth in Slovakia was three years ago, and apparently things have improved since then in Trnava. There are, however, some overarching themes that differentiate Slovakia from other Western countries. The most important deficiency in Slovak hospitals is not a matter of money, equipment, or expertise, but of attitude. Čítajte viac

Maternity wards pay little attention to human rights


The Slovak Spectator

“So I stayed there those two hours alone, without my baby, without my husband, two hours I was lying there on my own, incredibly thirsty, terribly pained, full of negative emotions about what I’d allowed to happen, […] it wasn’t supposed to be like this.” This is how a woman describes the immediate moments after she gave birth to her child in one of the Slovak hospitals in an interview which was part of the monitoring by human rights watchdog Citizen, Democracy, Accountability (ODZ) and Women’s Circles. The findings of their two-year-long monitoring were published in late April 2015 and show that even though most Slovak hospitals now label themselves baby-friendly and have introduced practices that were unheard of some years ago, from the perspective of human rights, most deliveries in Slovakia are well below standards observed in advanced democracies. Čítajte viac

A question of rights


The Slovak Spectator

Human rights might seem an abstract concept in a hospital maternity ward, but in essence the issue is no more than basic human decency and compassion.

When the Duchess of Cambridge, wearing high heels and her radiant smile, left the hospital just a few hours after having delivered her second child, women in Slovakia once again started asking why they are kept locked up in maternity wards for days after their children are born. Still the length of hospital stays appear a minor problem in the light of the monitoring by the human rights watchdog group Citizen, Democracy, Accountability published in late April. Čítajte viac




Women’s Human Rights in Obstetric Care in Healthcare Facilities in Slovakia

Editor: Janka Debrecéniová

Authors: Kristína Babiaková, Janka Debrecéniová, Miroslava Hlinčíková, Zuzana Krišková, Martina Sekulová, Sylvia Šumšalová

Publisher: Občan, demokracia a zodpovednosť, Bratislava, April 2015

The publication is the first one to discuss obstetric care in the Slovak Republic from the perspective of women’s human rights. Besides filling the gap in knowledge of problems women face in relation to childbirth, it is also innovative in terms of research methodology. It summarises the results of more than two years of intensive efforts of our organisation in cooperation with NGO Women’s Circles that promote the human rights of women in Slovakia, which carried out a pilot study and monitoring. In collecting and processing the various data, an inter-disciplinary team of experts combined standard methods of social scientific research with methods used in human rights monitoring, one of them being the Free Access to Information Act mandating public authorities and maternity wards to provide information. Authors of the publication managed to offer many key perspectives currently missing in obstetric care in Slovakia, including both the authentic experiences of women, and a women’s human rights perspective, among others. Čítajte viac

At U.N. Human Rights Council, Slovakia announces plan to increase access to modern contraceptives


CDA – CRR – FoCh

At the close of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Slovak government has made a commitment to broaden access to modern contraceptives for all women. The UPR is part of a regular assessment of United Nations member states’ compliance with international human rights obligations.

The Center for Reproductive Rights and Slovak NGOs Citizen, Democracy, and Accountability and Freedom of Choice submitted a joint letter to the Human Rights Council addressing the human rights violations experienced by Slovak women and adolescent girls because of the inaccessibility of the full range of reproductive health services, including safe abortion, contraceptive services, and information and sexuality education. Čítajte viac