Totalitarianism and the Violation of Human Rights in Education. The Case of Slovenia

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Národní pedagogické muzeum a knihovna J. A. Komenského
Technická univerzita v Liberci, Fakulta přírodovědně-humanitní a pedagogická
Slovenian schools were victims of the totalitarianism of Italian Fascism from the advent of fascist rule in 1922 until the capitulation of Italy in 1943 and of German Nazism during World War II (1941–1945). However, the question remains whether schools in Slovenia were victims of totalitarianism after the war, too. The answer depends on whether the socialist regime was merely undemocratic or also totalitarian. But even if the state at that time was not totalitarian, it violated human rights also in the field of education. According to the European Court of Human Rights, the State is forbidden to pursue an aim of indoctrination in public schools – as was the case in Slovenia – because indoctrination is considered to not respect parents’ religious and philosophical convictions. In this paper it will be shown that the state also violated two other human rights of their citizens which are in close connection to this parents’ right, namely, the right of parents to choose private schools based on specific moral, religious or secular values; and (if there are not such schools) the right to establish them. Both of these rights were violated because private schools, except religious schools for the education of priests, were forbidden. These rights were violated in the socialist republic of Slovenia even though ex-Yugoslavia (one of whose constitutive parts was at that time Slovenia) signed and ratified these international documents on human rights.
indoctrination, human rights, public schools, totalitarianism