The project’s goal is to contribute to work to challenge Slovakia’s laws and practices that undermine Roma women’s access to quality reproductive health care. It particularly aims to explore experiences of Roma women living in socially excluded communities in Eastern Slovakia in their access to reproductive health services and in the course of reproductive health care and to identify the barriers and forms of abuse and discrimination they encounter. We will address the the documented shortcomings to the responsible state authorities and will advocate for necessary changes.
The project builds on a joint documentation by Poradňa and the Center for Reproductive Rights of cases of forced and coerced sterilizations and other reproductive rights violations of Roma women and girls that was conducted in 2002 and that resulted in the Body and Soul report published in January 2003. The report uncovered reproductive rights violations faced by many Roma women in Slovakia and led to legislative changes regarding sterilization and to adoption of informed consent regulation with health care. Some Roma women, who had been forcibly sterilized, sucessfully sought justice at national courts and the European Court of Human Rights.
The project is implemented in cooperation with the Center for Reproductive Rights, New York and thanks to its financial support in a period from 5 September 2016 to 31 July 2017.