Safe country of origin

Slovenia

Country Report: Safe country of origin Last updated: 25/05/22

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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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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, he or she 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 his or her case. In this case, the competent authority can reject the applicant’s claim for international protection as manifestly unfounded in an Accelerated Procedure.[5]

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 him or her, 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.[6] This marked the first time countries were designated as safe countries of origin by Slovenian authorities. In June 2019, the Government amended the Ordinance and removed Turkey from the safe country of origin list and added Georgia, Nepal and Senegal. Therefore Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Egypt, Georgia, Kosovo, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, North Macedonia, Serbia and Tunisia were determined as safe countries of origin by the Government.[7] No countries were added to the list, which is not reviewed periodically.

In 2021, a total 854 nationals of countries designated as safe countries of origin applied for asylum in Slovenia:

Asylum seekers from “safe countries of origin”: 2021
Country of origin Number of applicants
Morocco 175
Algeria 106
Bangladesh 267
Egypt 107
Tunisia 54
Kosovo 64
Nepal 54
Serbia 5
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0
Albania 10
North Macedonia 1
Senegal 10
Monte Negro 1
Georgia 0
Total 854

 Source: Migration Directorate.

 

In comparison to 2020, when 1903 applications from applicants from a ‘safe country of origin’ were lodged, the number of these applications dropped significantly in 2021. This is mostly due to the decrease of applicants from Morocco and Algeria. The number of applicants from Morocco and Algeria dropped last year after the Ministry of Interior started to detain large numbers of applicants from both countries. Upon arriving in Slovenia, individuals were detained in the Foreigners Centre where they continued to be detained as asylum seekers. Their applications were processed in the accelerated procedure in order to enable their return to Croatia under the agreement after the asylum procedure was complete. Due to the large number of arrivals and the COVID-19 pandemic, the conditions in the Foreigners Centre worsened significantly in 2021. The Migration Directorate eventually stopped the practice as most of the detained asylum seekers were released from detention upon submitting an application for judicial review against the detention order.[8]

In 2021 the concept of a ‘safe country of origin’ was used. However, official statistics on the number of cases is not available. If the concept is used, the application can only be rejected in the accelerated procedure as manifestly unfounded.[9]

 

 

 

[1] Article 61(1) IPA.

[2] Article 61(3) IPA.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Article 61(4) IPA.

[5] Article 62(1)-(2) IPA.

[6] Article 1 of the Ordinance determining the list of safe countries of origin, Official Gazette of RS, No. 13/16.

[7] Ordinance determining the list of safe countries of origin, Official Gazette of RS, No. 38/19.

[8] For more information see the AIDA country update for Slovenia for 2020.

[9] Article 63(4) IPA.

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