Slovenia - Amnesty International Report 2007

Human Rights in Republic of Slovenia

Amnesty International  Report 2013


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Head of state: Janez Drnovšek
Head of government: Janez Janša
Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes
International Criminal Court: ratified

There was continued concern about the status of thousands of people whose names were removed from the registry of permanent residents in 1992 (known as the "erased"). Members of Romani communities faced discrimination, including in access to education.

The 'erased'

The authorities failed to resolve the problems relating to the so-called "erased", some 18,305 individuals unlawfully removed from the Slovenian registry of permanent residents in 1992. The "erased" were people from other former Yugoslav republics who had been living in Slovenia but had not acquired Slovenian citizenship after Slovenia became independent. The authorities failed to ensure that the "erased" had full access to economic and social rights, including the right to work and access to health care.

Although the Slovenian Constitutional Court had ruled in 1999 and 2003 that the removal of these individuals from the registry of permanent residents was unlawful, approximately one third of the "erased" still did not have Slovenian citizenship or a permanent residence permit. Many were living in Slovenia "illegally" as foreigners or stateless persons; others were forced to leave the country. Those who managed to obtain Slovenian citizenship or permanent residency - often after years of bureaucratic and legal struggle - continued to suffer from the consequences of their past unregulated status and had no access to full reparation, including compensation.

In June, 11 "erased" people filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights claiming that the "erasure" resulted in violations of their rights, including the right to private and family life, the right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to freedom of movement, and the right to be free from discrimination.

Discrimination against Roma

The authorities failed to fully integrate Romani children in education and tolerated in certain primary schools the creation of special classes for Romani children, where in some cases a reduced curriculum was taught.

The so-called "Br®ljin model", used at the Br®ljin elementary school in the city of Novo Mesto, provided for the creation of separate groups for pupils who did not perform sufficiently well in certain subjects. These were intended as "catch-up groups" and, at least in theory, would allow for pupils to return to mainstream groups. Teachers in Br®ljin admitted that such groups were composed mostly, and sometimes exclusively, of Roma.

Such a model had been criticized by education experts in Slovenia for effectively resulting in the segregation of Roma. It was also criticized by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in a report published in 2006.

In October, approximately 30 members of a Romani family, living in the village of Ambrus, were forced to leave their homes under police escort after having been targeted in ethnically motivated attacks by non-Roma. They were provided temporary accommodation in a reception centre for refugees and subsequently prevented from returning to their homes, which were demolished in December on the grounds that they had been built illegally. The authorities failed to promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigate ethnically motivated attacks with a view to bringing those responsible to justice.

AI country reports/visits

Reports

• Europe and Central Asia: Summary of Amnesty International's concerns in the region, January-June 2006 (AI Index: EUR 01/017/2006)

• False starts: The exclusion of Romani children from primary education in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (AI Index: EUR 05/002/2006)

Visit

An AI delegate visited Slovenia in March.