The concept of the safe country of origin is defined in Article 61 IPA. A third country is designated as safe in case it can be concluded, based on the legal situation, the application of the law within the democratic system and the general political circumstances, that there is no general and consistent persecution, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the country and no threat of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict.
According to the law, a country is declared a safe country of origin by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia based on a proposal of the Ministry of Interior, which regularly monitors the situation in the country through the information gathered by other EU Member States, EU institutions and other relevant international organisations.
If the Ministry finds out that conditions regarding the human rights situation have deteriorated considerably, or if it doubts that the country is still fulfilling the conditions needed to be considered as a safe country of origin, the Ministry of Interior can re-examine whether the country can still be considered safe. If the country can no longer be considered a safe country of origin the Ministry of Interior can make a proposal to remove it from the list of safe countries of origin.
The Government notifies the European Commission about the declaration of the country as a safe country of origin and about changes relating to the declaration of the country as a safe country of origin.
A third country can be considered a safe country of origin in an individual case if the applicant has citizenship or, in case the applicant is a stateless person, they had habitual residence in the country and failed to prove that it cannot be considered a safe country of origin due to specific circumstances in their case. In this case, the competent authority can reject the applicant’s claim for international protection as manifestly unfounded in an Accelerated Procedure.
The concept is used in practice. However, since there are no considerable differences between a regular and an accelerated procedure and since an applicant that is considered to come from a safe country of origin can still provide evidence that the country in question is not safe for them, the safe country of origin principle does not have strong practical implications.
The Government issued its first List of Safe Countries of Origin in February 2016. In April 2022, the Government amended the Ordinance and again added Turkey to the safe country of origin list together with Ghana and Gambia. Therefore Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Egypt, Ghana, Gambia, Georgia, Kosovo, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey were determined as safe countries of origin by the Government.
In 2022, a total 2,052 nationals of countries designated as safe countries of origin applied for asylum in Slovenia:
|Asylum seekers from “safe countries of origin”: 2022|
|Country of origin||Number of applicants|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2|
Source: Official statistics of the Migration directorate available at: http://bit.ly/3ksiZGh.
In comparison to 2021, when 854 applications from applicants from a ‘safe country of origin’ were lodged, the number of these applications increased significantly in 2022. This is mostly due to the increase of applicants from Morocco and Bangladesh and the addition of Ghana, Gambia and Turkey to the safe country of origin list.
In 2022 the concept of a ‘safe country of origin’ was used. However, official statistics on the number of cases where it was used is not available. If the concept is used, the application can only be rejected in the accelerated procedure as manifestly unfounded. In practice, applications are not rejected solely based on a ‘safe country of origin’ concept but together with other reasons for rejecting the application as manifestly unfounded.
 Article 61(1) IPA.
 Article 61(3) IPA.
 Article 61(4) IPA.
 Article 62(1)-(2) IPA.
 Article 1 of the Ordinance determining the list of safe countries of origin, Official Gazette of RS, No. 13/16.
 Ordinance determining the list of safe countries of origin, Official Gazette of RS, No. 47/22.
 Article 63(4) IPA.