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Slovenia 2023

New legislation ended legal proceedings against people who violated the blanket ban on protests during the Covid-19 pandemic. Severe family doctor shortages left approximately 140,000 people without adequate access to primary healthcare. The president proposed legislation to restore residency rights to the “erased”. Slovenia continued returning asylum seekers to Croatia. Government set new targets for renewables and greenhouse emissions.

Freedom of expression, association and assembly

In September, the National Assembly adopted legislation to end legal proceedings initiated against individuals who defied certain restrictions, including on protests, enacted during the Covid-19 pandemic and ordered a refund of all fines paid.

In May, the Constitutional Court lifted the suspension – in place since February – of amendments to the law on Radio-Television Slovenia (RTV SLO), regulating the composition of its governing board. Media organizations noted that the amendments would significantly reduce the possibility of political interference and allow RTV SLO to establish its editorial independence after years under the control of the previous governments.

Economic, social and cultural rights

In July, the National Assembly adopted the long-awaited and amended Long-Term Care Act. The act envisaged far-reaching systemic solutions to address the needs of people requiring full-time care, both at home and in care institutions.

Due to significant shortages of family doctors across the country, approximately 140,000 people remained without effective access to primary healthcare. The civil society initiative Voice of the People warned that the lack of doctors led to significant delays in people receiving their first examination, diagnosis and therapy and may have caused preventable deaths. The initiative said that government measures to provide primary healthcare services through community health centres were ineffective.

After floods in August, the authorities implemented a series of measures to support people affected by devastating floods that left six people dead and hundreds without homes in north and central Slovenia. The measures ranged from immediate support for households and businesses to long-term rebuilding of destroyed roads and bridges, as well as flood safety infrastructure.


The “erased”

In October, the president proposed legislation that could restore permanent residency for the so-called “erased” people, citizens of other former Yugoslav republics who were unconstitutionally removed from the official registry of permanent residents when Slovenia declared independence over 30 years ago. More than half of approximately 25,000 “erased” people were unable to restore their residency status or receive compensation from the state.

LGBTI people

People seeking to change their legal gender in identity documents were still required to obtain a certificate from a health institution or a doctor, which in practice meant obtaining a mental health disorder diagnosis.

Refugees’ and migrants’ rights

The authorities recorded 60,587 irregular entries by refugees and migrants, a significant increase compared with previous years. Slovenia continued to return asylum seekers to Croatia, despite well-documented reports of widespread abuse of refugees and migrants by the Croatian border police.

In June, the Administrative Court ruled in the case of an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, that the practice of detaining asylum seekers before they lodged asylum applications violated their constitutional right to personal liberty.

In September, the ombudsman said the overcrowding in the reception centre for asylum seekers in the capital, Ljubljana, violated people’s right to personal dignity, privacy and security.

Right to a healthy environment

In June, the government updated its draft Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan and set new targets, including 30-35% of energy production from renewable sources and a 37-40% reduction in emissions by 2030. Local civil society groups said Slovenia’s targets were not meeting the goals set in the Paris Agreement and needed to be more ambitious.