A new accredited service has been available to victims of hate crimes since January 1, 2022, which was started by the NGO Human Rights League. Accreditation was granted by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic in December 2021, based on a request from the HRL, which contained a detailed description of the Victims' Assistance Project and the HRL's previous experience. Since January, victims of hate crimes, especially foreigners and refugees, will find free legal and social assistance, or the assistance of a cooperating psychologist and lawyer in the HRL. Provision of the free aid is currently facilitated by project "SalamSK" funded by the European Union. Information materials (leaflets and explanatory videos) are available in six language versions - in Slovak, English, Arabic, Persian, Ukrainian and Serbian, and will be distributed to all places where potential victims may come into contact with them. Persons who have experienced or are experiencing hate treatment or attacks can contact the Human Rights League in person during each working day, at an address in Bratislava, by email or by telephone. "The project of assistance to victims of hate crimes fills a gap that has existed in the field of providing this assistance in Slovakia so far, especially in relation to foreigners. Already during 2021, we were approached by several clients from different countries who experience hateful or discriminatory treatment in their lives due to their origin or religion. Obtaining accreditation will allow us to help them in a targeted and effective manner and thus improve the enforceability of their rights ", said HRL director, lawyer Zuzana Števulová. "The latest report from ECRI - the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe on Slovakia (2020) reports on the increase of the attacks on foreigners and Muslims and the high latency - that is, their distrust in justice and thus the non-reporting of these acts to the police - and we believe that we will soon be able to improve the situation ", she concludes. The Crime Prevention Department of the Office of the Minister of the Interior of the Slovak Republic also collaborated on the explanatory video for foreigners. Its director Mr. Jozef Halcin says: “The Ministry of the Interior has set up 16 information offices for victims of crime throughout Slovakia, in which citizens of other nationalities, foreigners, victims of hate crimes and extremism will also find help, basic information or guidance in further proceedings. We must not forget that there must be no borders in helping (not only) foreigners in need. It is therefore our duty to increase their confidence in our services." A spokeswoman for the Bratislava Municipal Police also appears in the video, who explains to foreigners how the municipal police can help them. A record of the webinar presenting available services is also available on the HRL website. It also presents a survey by the Islamic Foundation in Slovakia on the experiences of foreigners and Muslims with hatred in Slovakia. "According to the survey, almost 60% of Muslims in Slovakia have experienced hate speech," said Mr. Mohamad Safwan Hasna, director of the Islamic Foundation in Slovakia. "We are working with the HRL to improve the situation, find solutions and help, and support this community," he added. The results of the survey can be found in the publication "Refugees and Migrants as Victims of Hate Crimes - Prevention, Assistance and Protection" (2021), which is available here. Project SalamSK-Combating the Islamophobia and Supporting the Victims of Hate Crime in Slovakia is funded by the European Union´s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014 - 2020).
The seminar on migrant women draws attention to the need to address the situation of migrant women in Slovakia and their gender equality.