A new member of the Board of Directors of the Slovak National Center for Human Rights (SNSĽP) from our organization
On Friday, January 31, 2020, President Zuzana Čaputová appointed, pursuant to Art. 102 par. 1 letter h) Constitution of the Slovak Republic and § 3a par. 1 letter a) Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 308/1993 Coll. on the establishment of the Slovak National Center for Human Rights as amended by Act no. 136/2003 Coll. Kálmán Petőcz as a member of the Board of Directors of the Slovak National Center for Human Rights (SNSĽP). This appointment went into effect on February 1, 2020. Last year, Dagmar Horná was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the SNSĽP in her capacity by Ombudsman Mária Patakyová. The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights currently has double representation in the Board of Directors of the SNSĽP.
Opinion of the members of the Slovak Government Council for Human Rights, National Minorities and Gender Equality for civil society
In recent weeks, the Slovak Republic, along with other countries of the world, has been facing a crisis situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of the Slovak Republic, which was established after the elections on February 29, 2020, began to fulfill its duties under difficult conditions. We appreciate the steps taken by the government of the Slovak Republic, the relevant authorities, institutions, the Parliament of the Slovak Republic, the self-government as well as non-governmental organizations and civil initiatives in order to manage the crisis. Citizens of our country also showed great civic responsibility. We appreciate the activities of the President of the Slovak Republic, with which she significantly contributed to solving acute situations, as well as the fundamental position of the public defender of rights.
However, we feel concern that the human rights of many people and groups are being interfered with. We, the representatives of civil society in the Government Council of the Slovak Republic for Human Rights, National Minorities and Gender Equality (hereinafter referred to as the “Government Council”), therefore remind you of the importance of applying the principles of the democratic rule of law in all circumstances. We also remind you of the necessity of respecting the imperative of the inalienability of human rights, which is enshrined in the Constitution of the Slovak Republic and in international standards. These principles also apply in times of crisis.
It is possible to limit some basic rights and freedoms, but it must be done on the basis of the law, to the necessary extent and for the necessary time. Restrictions must not unreasonably discriminate against certain groups of persons. Protection of life is a priority, but it is also about quality of life. It consists in the fulfillment of all other human rights and freedoms – civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural, and in respecting the values of equality, dignity and justice.
We appeal to the government and all relevant authorities and institutions to strictly observe the stated principles during the duration of the emergency situation as well as after its end, in the implementation of the government program. We believe that the recommendations regarding human rights and the principles of the rule of law, which we address to the Slovak government and other crisis management bodies, can also help.
April 29, 2020
- Martin Bútora, member of government council
- Michal Davala, member of government council
- Peter Guráň, member of council, vice president of the Committee for children and youth
- Dagmar Horná, member of government council
- Martin Macko, member of council, vice president of the Committee for LGBTI community rights
- Adriana Mesochoritisová, member of government council, vice president of the Committee for gender equality
- Silvia Miháliková, member of government council
- Laco Oravec, member of government council
- Michal Vašečka, member of government council, vice president of the Committee for the prevention and elimination of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and other forms of intolerance
- Marcel Zajac, member of government council, vice president of government council for non-governmental organizations
- Kálmán Petőcz, vice president of government council