Special procedural guarantees

Slovenia

Country Report: Special procedural guarantees Last updated: 31/03/21

Author

The IPA is not very specific about the special procedural guarantees available to vulnerable groups. The law provides that special support is provided in the asylum procedure to persons with vulnerabilities,[1] and that the interviews have to be conducted accordingly, taking into account personal and other circumstances regarding the individual including his or her vulnerability.[2] A child’s asylum application can be postponed for up to 48 hours if there are justified reasons to do so.[3]

If a person is not able to understand the meaning of the international protection procedure due to a temporary or permanent mental disorder or illness or for other reasons, he or she must be assigned a legal guardian.[4]

Apart from these rules, no special measures exist in law for the support of persons with vulnerabilities in terms of their participation in asylum procedures. Moreover, these provisions are rarely used in practice. Whether an individual’s vulnerabilities are taken into account during the interview depends on the person conducting the interview. Female asylum seekers often face difficulties when requesting female interpreters during their interviews. Interviews with children are not adjusted to children’s needs, and often not conducted in a child-friendly manner. The psychological state of children is not taken into consideration during the interview and during the procedure. If an asylum seeker has a severe mental disorder or illness that impacts their ability to understand the meaning of the procedure and their capability to cooperate in the procedure, they are not assigned a legal guardian in practice. This is due to the refusal of the authorities to make expert assessments of the mental state of asylum seekers.

The Migration directorate does not have a specific unit dealing with vulnerable groups. According to the Migration directorate, decision-makers have received EASO training on three modules: interviewing vulnerable groups, interviewing children, gender identity and sexual orientation. In addition, EASO trainings on victims of human trafficking and COI were provided in the first half of 2019. In 2020 the employees of the Migration directorate received two EASO training sessions on the Dublin Regulation and on Interviewing Vulnerable Persons.[5]

Due to the lack of stricter protocols, asylum seekers in need of special procedural guarantees may in some cases not be identified early enough or may not receive proper arrangements in the procedure.

The Accelerated Procedure  and the Border procedure (border and transit zones) may also be used in the case of applicants belonging to vulnerable groups. Unaccompanied children’s applications can only be rejected in the accelerated procedure as manifestly unfounded in two cases: on grounds of Safe Country of Origin; and where the child presents a threat to national security or public order.[6] In 2019, 7 applications of unaccompanied minors were rejected as manifestly unfounded in an accelerated procedure.[7] In 2020, one application of a unaccompanied minor was rejected as manifestly unfounded in an accelerated procedure.[8]

[1]  Article 14(2) IPA.

[2] Article 37(1) IPA.

[3] Article 12(2) Rules on the procedure for aliens who wish to apply for international protection in the Republic of Slovenia and on the procedure for accepting applications for international protection.

[4] Article 19(1) IPA.

[5] Official information provided by the Ministry. See also ECRE/AIDA, Asylum Authorities: An overview of internal structures and available resources, October 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2wiDmgo, 45.

[6] Administrative Court, Decision I U 1544/2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2oU9EY7.

[7] Official statistics provided by the Migration directorate, February 2020.

[8]  Official statistics provided by the Migration directorate, January 2021.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation