Slovakia is a democratic republic with a multi-party parliamentary system.

Systemic Discrimination
Mostly Satisfactory
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Constitution and government

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and association. These rights are generally respected in practice.

Religious privilege

However, the government has been criticized for policies that favour the Roman Catholic Church, and, to a lesser extent, other religious groups with historic or large followings in Slovakia, over newer or minority religions or beliefs. In particular, an extensive concordat between Slovakia and the Vatican, signed in 2000 and subsequently expanded in 2002 and 2004, increased Catholic influence in state schools and the armed forces, as well as increasing government funding to Catholic institutions.

The government avoided some criticism of this agreement by then extending similar, but lesser, benefits to eleven other religious groups. Total government funding to religious groups was €37.19 million (c. US $50million) in 2009.

Education and children’s rights

All public elementary school students must take a religion class or ethics class, depending on personal or parental preferences.

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

Freedoms of speech and of the press are protected by the constitution, but media outlets sometimes face political interference. Journalists continue to face verbal attacks and libel suits by public officials, though these have decreased in frequency in recent years. A September 2011 amendment to the controversial Press Act reduced pressure on editors by removing a requirement that media publish responses or corrections from public officials if they are criticized for their performance in office.