A recent review by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights found that Slovakia continues to fall short on certain key elements of reproductive health care. The Center for Reproductive Rights and its Slovak partners, Freedom of Choice and Citizen, Democracy and Accountability, offered critical guidance used by the Committee in its findings.
During the April-May 2012 session, the Committee reviewed Slovakia’s second periodic report on the country’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In June, the Committee issued its concluding observations which included recommendations to promote, protect, and fulfill women’s reproductive rights. These recommendations echo key issues that the Center raised in its shadow letter to the Committee on April 2 and include the following:
- The Committee expresses concern about a 2011 law that explicitly prohibits from public health insurance the coverage of contraceptives used solely for pregnancy prevention and recommends that the Slovak government amend its insurance policy to include contraceptive coverage.
- The Committee urges the state to lower the cost of abortion and to ensure the confidentiality of the personal information of women undergoing abortion.
- The Committee recommends that sexual and reproductive health education be available to all students and include information on the prevention of early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
In addition to submitting the shadow letter, the Center was at the United Nations in Geneva during the session and actively advocated for these strong recommendations. The Center and its partners welcome the Committee’s concluding observations and urge the Slovak government to implement the recommendations.