2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Slovak Republic
|Publisher||United States Department of Labor|
|Author||Bureau of International Labor Affairs|
|Publication Date||29 April 2004|
|Cite as||United States Department of Labor, 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Slovak Republic, 29 April 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48c8ca3341.html [accessed 10 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Government Programs and Policies to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor
The Government of the Slovak Republic instituted a National Action Plan for Children's Rights in 2002. It has also established a Committee on the Rights of the Child, and created departments within its Ministries of Education and Social Affairs to protect children's rights. The government has also increased its attention to the elimination of trafficking in the country. A new unit to combat trafficking was created within the Police Department of Organized Crime in June 2002 to coordinate trafficking investigations. The Law Against Trafficking in Persons was also amended to include stricter measures for violations. In addition, the government is working in consultation with the IOM and the UNOffice on Drugs and Crime to promote the international coordination of policies and programs on trafficking. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime is implementing a project on trafficking in persons that supports strengthening the criminal justice response, as well as providing protection and support to victims of trafficking.
In collaboration with UNESCO, the government has developed an Education for All Program, sponsored a media campaign to encourage school attendance, and developed a pre-school program to teach Roma children the Slovak language. The European Community's Phare Program has funded the project "Improvement of the Situation of the Roma in the Slovak Republic," which includes an education component geared at improving the integration of Roma children in primary school.
Incidence and Nature of Child Labor
Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in the Slovak Republic are unavailable. Girls from Slovakia are trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, and Slovakia is a country of origin, transit and a destination country for such victims of trafficking. The Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed concerns over several issues related to children. In particular, the transit of trafficked children through Slovakia for the purpose of pornography, prostitution and sex tourism has drawn attention to the need for protecting children. Insufficient data and awareness of the phenomenon of the commercial sexual exploitation of children persist.
Education is free and compulsory. The Education Act of 1994 established a 9-year compulsory school attendance. In 1998, the law was amended and a gradual change to 10 years was initiated. In 2000, the gross primary enrollment rate was 103 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 89.4 percent. Primary school attendance rates are unavailable for the Slovak Republic. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school. Although official statistics are unavailable, it is believed that fewer Roma than Slovak children attend primary school. Roma children are also disproportionately placed in special schools for the mentally disabled, often because they lack sufficient knowledge of the Slovak language.
Child Labor Laws and Enforcement
The Labor Code sets the minimum age for employment at 15 years. Children under the age of 15 may perform light work in cultural or artistic performances, sports events, and advertising activities with the approval of the National Labor Inspector's Office as long as the work does not affect their health, safety, development, or full-time schooling. Children under the age of 16 years may not work underground or perform work that is inappropriate for their age or detrimental to their health. Children under 16 may not work more than 30 hours per week, and children overage 16 are limited to 37.5 hours per week. Violations for child labor include civil fines up to 500,000 crowns (USD 11,494) for first time offenders, and up to 1 million crowns (USD 22,989) for repeat offenders.
The Criminal Code prohibits the sale and trafficking of persons, and these crimes can be penalized more severely when the victim is under the age of 18. The trafficking of children for the purposes of adoption, child labor, or any other illegal purpose is also prohibited by the Criminal Code. A person convicted of selling a child under the age of 15 for the purpose of prostitution can receive a penalty of up to 12 years imprisonment. A maximum sentence of 15 years can be applied if serious bodily injury results or if the perpetrator is an organized crime member. On September 1, 2002, the Law Against Trafficking in Persons was revised to include sentences of 3 to 10 years of imprisonment for individuals found guilty of trafficking crimes. For offenders who were involved with crime syndicates, the length of imprisonment can last from 12 to 15 years. The Constitution prohibits forced labor.
The inspection section of the Ministry of Labor enforces the country's child labor laws. Child labor complaints are first received and investigated by the Ministry's district inspection units. If a violation of a child labor law is found tohave occurred, the case is turned over to the national inspection unit. Thegovernment distributes fliers explaining legislation on and hazards of child labor, and also provides specific training to its inspectors on child labor. In 1997, a special department was established in the Slovak Police Corps that deals specifically with crimes committed against children and juveniles, including commercial sexual exploitation.
The Government of the Slovak Republic ratified ILO Convention 138 on September 29, 1997, and ILO Convention 182 on December 20, 1999.
 Mr. Peter Magvasi, Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, and Family of the Slovak Republic, Statement at the 27th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Children, UNICEF, [online] 2002 [cited July 9, 2003]; available from http://www.un.org/ga/children/slovakiaE.htm. See also U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 969, September 8, 2003.
 U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 969. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2002: Slovak Republic, Washington, D.C., March 31, 2003, Section 5; available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18390.htm. See also U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 897, September 2002. See also Mr. Peter Magvasi, Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, and Family of the Slovak Republic, Statement at the 27th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Children.
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Slovak Republic, Section 6f.
 The UN International Center for Crime Prevention is part of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention. See United Nations Information Service, Press Briefing on UN Vienna Offices' Contribution to General Assembly Special Session on Children, [press briefing] 2002 [cited July 31, 2003]; available from http://www.unis.unvienna.org/en/events/2002/summary08may02.htm.
 Ludmila Simcakova, Education for All 2000 Assessment: Country Reports – Slovak Republic, UNESCO, [online] 1999 [cited June 28, 2003]; available from http://www2.unesco.org/wef/countryreports/slovakia/contents.html.
 U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 897.
 Slovak Republic Government Office, Overview of Phare Projects Focusing on Minorities, [online] 2003 [cited August 1, 2003]; available from http://www.vlada.gov.sk/mensiny/phare_summary_ENG.doc.
 World Bank, World Development Indicators 2003 [CD-ROM], Washington, D.C., 2003. See also U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 969.
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Slovak Republic, Sections 5 and 6f.
 Russian and Ukrainian girls are reportedly vulnerable to trafficking through Slovakia for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. See UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Slovakia, CRC/C/15/Add.140, United Nations, Geneva, October 23, 2000, para. 49; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CRC.C.15.Add.140.En?OpenDocument.
 Ibid., para. 49-50.
 Education Act No. 350/1994 was amended by Education Act No. 6/1998. See Ludmila Simcakova, EFA Country Report: Slovak Republic, INNODATA, Slovakia Country Report, 2000 [cited July 31, 2003]; available from http://www.ibe.unesco.org/International/ICE/natrap/Slovakia.pdf.
 World Bank, World Development Indicators 2003.
 For a more detailed discussion on the relationship between education statistics and work, see the preface to this report.
 U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 897.
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Slovak Republic, Section 5.
 Labor Code Act, Part 1, Article 11. See also U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 969.
 USDOL-Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Advancing the Campaign Against Child Labor: Efforts at the Country Level, USDOL, Washington, DC, July 2002, Part 7, Article 175. See also Labor Code Act, Part 7, Article 175.
 Labor Code Act, Part 3, Article 85.
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Slovak Republic, 6d.
 Criminal Code of Slovak Republc, as cited in The Protection Project, "Slovakia," in Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children: A Country-by-Country Report on a Contemporary Form of Slavery, March 2002; available from http://126.96.36.199/ver2/cr/Slovakia.pdf. See also U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Slovak Republic, 6f.
 The Protection Project, "Slovak Republic," Article 216a.
 Ibid., Article 204.
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports – 2002: Slovak Republic, Section 6f. See also U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 969.
 Constitution of the Slovak Republic, Article 18.
 U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 897. See also U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 969.
 U.S. Embassy-Bratislava, unclassified telegram no. 897.
 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial Reports of State Parties: Slovakia, CRC/C/11/Add.17, August 17, 1998, para. 66; available from http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/CRC.C.11.Add.17.En?OpenDocument. Documentation from the Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Exploitation Unit at the Slovak Republic's Police Presidium showed that there were 28 cases of trafficking in human beings and no cases of trafficking in children under the Criminal Code as of October 2003. See U.S. Department of State official, electronic communication to USDOL official, February 18, 2004.
 ILO, Ratifications by Country, in ILOLEX, [database online] [cited July 31, 2003]; available from http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm.