Human rights updates 4


European Parliament awards Sakharov Prize to courageous Ukrainian people

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded annually to personalities and organisations fighting for human rights and fundamental freedoms. This year, the Sakharov Prize was awarded to the people of Ukraine, represented by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, elected leaders and civil society. The award was given to the people of Ukraine precisely for their bravery and perseverance in the fight against the Russian aggressor. For it is precisely through these actions that they are fighting for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. According to the MEPs, this award is intended as a recognition of their enormous courage and perseverance.

People with disabilities face numerous obstacles in Afghanistan

People with physical disabilities face discrimination and inequality of opportunities in Afghanistan. In fact, there is no legislative guarantee in the country to guarantee their basic human rights. The country has no provisions prohibiting discrimination or guaranteeing suitable and safe working conditions. Taking into account the problems relating to human rights and freedoms in Afghanistan , there are doubts as to whether the activities associated with White Cane Safety Day will take place. Afghanistan has been celebrating this day since 2011 as an expression of support for people with visual impairments. The white cane is an important aid for people with visual impairments and a symbol of their independence, as it enables them to travel safely.

Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian organisations won the Nobel Peace Prize. This is due to their relentless fight for justice

This year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Ales Bialiatski and two human rights organisations – Memorial and the Centre for Civil Liberties. The prize was awarded for outstanding achievements in documenting war crimes, protecting human rights and combating abuses of power. Ales Bialiatsky is the founder of Viasna, a Belarusian human rights organisation which, among other things, criticises the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. The Russian human rights organisation Memorial has been operating since the Soviet Union. It reported, for example, on war crimes during the war in Chechnya, and in 2021 it was ordered to be wound up by the Russian Supreme Court. The Centre for Civil Liberties aims to protect human rights in Ukraine and fight corruption. It has also documented war crimes committed against civilians since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

Amnesty International warns of illegal spyware surveillance

More than 100 thousand people have already signed Amnesty International’s petition calling on United Nations (UN) states to support a global moratorium against the use of spyware. Many journalists, activists and political leaders have been spied on by spyware in recent years. Attackers use spyware to track the victim’s activity on the internet and on the devices they use without their knowledge. The attacker can obtain information about the sites browsed, GPS location and in some cases may have control over the victim’s camera or microphone. Through unlawful spyware surveillance, the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of thought and, in some cases, freedom of peaceful assembly are violated. The number of those being spied on is increasing every year, and it is therefore essential that UN states take steps to find solutions to protect the rights of the population.

Migrants at the Latvian border are subjected to violence. Border police force them to return to their countries of origin

Amnesty International recently reported on human rights violations at the Latvian border. Migrants are forcibly held in unspecified locations in tents in the forest, even during cold nights. Migrants are also allegedly subjected to ill-treatment in the camps. Many are reportedly subjected to electric shocks from tasers. Others speak of being forced by the police to sign a form to ‘voluntarily’ return to their country of origin. However, the country denies any allegations, with the Minister of the Interior stating that no evidence has been found to confirm rights violations. In addition, Latvia declared a state of emergency last year due to the massive influx of migrants from Belarus. However, this made it impossible for migrants to apply for asylum in the four border regions.


Two people were murdered in the Tepláreň bar. The reason was their affiliation with the LGBTI+ community

On the 12th of October, two young people were murdered in the Tepláreň bar on Zámocká Street in Bratislava. According to available sources, the cause of the attack was hatred towards the LGBTI+ community. Recently, we have seen a growing wave of hatred directed against this community, including from political leaders. Derogatory words, stigmatising statements, an attempt to ban the flying of the rainbow flag at state institutions. All of these manifestations of intolerance, which have long been ignored by society, have led to the murder of two innocent young people. This act, like all hate speech against minorities, is contrary to respect for human dignity and is therefore a violation of human rights.

In the European Gender Equality Scoreboard, Slovakia is ranked fourth from the end

The Gender Equality Index is published annually by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). The EIGE aims to strengthen gender equality across the European Union. The Index focuses on differences between men and women in six key areas – work, income, knowledge, time, power and health. In this year’s ranking, Slovakia ranked 24th overall. The greatest inequality between women and men is seen in the area of power. This is particularly the case in decision-making positions in the political, economic and social spheres. However, Slovakia performs well in the provision of health care with a score of 96.7. Despite a partial improvement compared to 2010, Slovakia still lags behind the average across Europe.

The proposal on life partnership did not pass the National Council

Only 50 of the 139 MPs present voted in favour of the life partnership proposal, which would regulate property rights and certain life situations. This was despite the words of many politicians, who thus showed their regret for the tragedy of Zámocká. The motion was submitted by the Freedom and Solidarity Party and was conceived as gender-neutral. It would have allowed both opposite-sex and same-sex couples to enter into cohabitation.