Slovakia - Overview

Slovakia’s laws contain strong protections for the core civic freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression. Slovakia has a long tradition of vibrant civil society, which remains active despite problems related to financial viability. NGOs are active in a wide range of sectors and deal with problems such as discrimination against the Roma community in the education sector and campaigns to combat corruption. Protest rights are well-respected and demonstrations are common, although tensions during recent anti-immigrant rallies resulted in clashes with police and arrests. A free media exists but faces legal threats from government officials and businesspeople. Defamation attracts a sentence of up to eight years imprisonment ─ the harshest punishment for defamation in the European Union.