Residents of the town of Michalovce in north-east Slovakia have drawn attention to the fact that the local section of nationalist party SNS has been using children aged 9-14 as canvassers to gather signatures for a petition to make Slovak the only administrative language in the country.
According to news portal SK1.sk, the children worked from 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening, but the SNS headquarters claim no knowledge of such a practice, saying it will be investigated.
Local party member Matúš Nameš also says he has no knowledge of underaged children collecting signatures for the petition entitled “When in Slovakia, speak Slovak”, while it is not permitted for anyone under the age of 16.
Nameš says young people would come to volunteer and that he could not be selective. He admits that he did not ask the children what age they were, though.