Slovenia: Amendments to Aliens Act denies protection to refugees

New law passed this evening strip refugees and asylum seekers of protections to which they are entitled under international and EU law and are a serious backward step for human rights in Slovenia, said Amnesty International.

Rather than recognizing refugees and asylum seekers as people fleeing from the horrors of war and in need of protection, these amendments treat them as a threat to national security
Jelena Sesar

The amendments to the Aliens Act allow for special emergency measures that would deny entry to people arriving at the borders and automatically expel migrants and refugees who have entered Slovenia irregularly, without properly assessing their asylum claims or the risks to which they would be exposed upon return.

“Rather than recognizing refugees and asylum seekers as people fleeing from the horrors of war and in need of protection, these amendments treat them as a threat to national security and strip them of vital protections under international law,” said Jelena Sesar, Amnesty International’s Researcher for the Balkans and the European Union.

“By sealing its borders to these desperate people and turning its back on its international obligations, Slovenia is treading the same unseemly path as its neighbours – Hungary and Austria. This is deeply regrettable for a country which has traditionally upheld core human rights values and has been a true leader in the region.” 

Countries in the Balkans must refrain from employing measures to push back and deny protections to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, many of them unaccompanied children fleeing war and persecution.