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The obligation to ensure the active promotion of gender equality and gender perspective is defined by the EU Council Regulation “The Member States and the Commission shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective is promoted during the various stages of implementation of the Funds. The Member States and the Commission shall take appropriate steps to prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation during the various stages of implementation of the Funds and, in particular, in the access to them. In particular, accessibility for disabled persons shall be one of the criteria to be observed in defining operations co-financed by the Funds and to be taken into account during the various stages of implementation,” says the Council Regulation (EC) 1083/2006[1] of the European funds (other relevant binding documents and directives are listed in the annex, chap. 1.1).

Equality of opportunities is well anchored in the Slovak Republic in the Basic Law and elaborated in special legislation. Fundamental human rights and freedoms in the Slovak Republic are guaranteed to all people under the Constitution of the SR which in Article 12 ensures the fundamental rights as follows: (2) “Basic rights and freedoms are guaranteed in the Slovak Republic to everyone regardless of sex, race, colour of skin, language, creed and religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, nationality or ethnic origin, property, birth or other status. No one shall be harmed, preferred or discriminated against on these grounds.”

In terms of the Slovak legislation relevant for the setting of areas of the HP EO is especially the Anti-Discrimination Act (Act 365/2004 on Equal Treatment in Certain Areas and Protection against Discrimination, amending and supplementing certain laws as amended, the “Anti-Discrimination Act”), “which explicitly names the grounds of discrimination in Article 2:
“§ 2 (1) Respect for the principle of equal treatment lies in the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex, religion or belief, race, nationality or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, colour, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Anti-Discrimination Act provides a general framework for the application of the principle of equal treatment and provides means of legal protection in the case of its violations. The Act defines the basic concepts of the principle of equal treatment and discrimination and provides the grounds on which it is unacceptable to violate this principle. It identifies the persons who are required to comply with the principle of equal treatment and designate areas in which this obligation applies. It also provides for exceptions to the principle of equal treatment and opportunity to address the details of the claim with the court for its failure.[2]

The obligation to respect the principle of equal treatment is to be provided for these areas:[3]

The area of ​​employment and occupation. This area includes all relations arising of employment and occupation such as recruitment, remuneration, working conditions, training, workflow, or dismissal or union membership.

The area of education. This includes relationships that arise in relation to the education at different levels; e.g. in primary, secondary and high schools, preschools, but also in various other institutions.

The area of ​​social security benefits and social area. To the field of social security fell such relationships that arise in providing social assistance (e.g. providing social counselling or social services), social insurance (such as insurance against sickness, pregnancy and maternity insurance, insurance against job loss or accidents at work) or pension savings. Social benefits are e.g. those provided by municipalities as contributions to persons or families who had a baby.

The area of the health care. This arises in providing care in hospitals, in nursing care, in medical first aid and emergency services, but also the relationships associated with a health insurance.

Providing of goods and services including housing. It is about services that are provided by public legal entities and individuals. The service can be very different types of services and shops that are commonly used as restaurants, hotels, shops and supermarkets, public transport and infrastructure, and various repair workshops, cultural and sports facilities etc.
Respect for the principle of equal treatment is not filled only by refraining from discriminatory practices, but also in preventing discrimination and taking preventive measures.

[1] COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999, Article. 16

[2] Debrecéniová, J.: What we (not) know about discrimination, Citizen and Democracy, Bratislava, 2008.

[3] para 62