The Aliens Centre is under the authority of the Police while the Asylum Home is under the authority of UOIM. Asylum seekers who are detained in the Asylum Home can move freely on the premises of the Asylum Home and have the same rights as other asylum seekers, except for leaving the premises.
Both facilities are subject to unannounced visits by the National Preventive Mechanism instituted under the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and implemented by the Office of the Ombudsman in cooperation with representatives of the civil society.
The Aliens Centre is visited by the Ombudsman around once per year. The centre is also occasionally visited by international monitoring bodies, including the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) which last visited between 28 March and 4 April 2017. In 2019, the Aliens Centre was renovating reception facilities of the centre. During the Ombudsman’s visit no major irregularities regarding overall conditions were detected.
Generally speaking no serious irregularities are detected in the centre during monitoring visits. Many smaller issues detected through monitoring activities have been remedied and improved over the years. Allegations of mistreatment or other inappropriate conduct of the Police and other staff are very rare. Nevertheless, incidents such as hunger strikes and self-harm do occur, though they seem to be a reaction to detention itself, as well as dissatisfaction with the asylum or return procedure, and not poor conditions in the centre.
Asylum seekers detained in the Asylum Home have the same rights as other accommodated asylum seekers and can therefore take part in all activities organised in the Asylum Home. In practice, they can also attend activities outside the Asylum Home provided that an official escorts them.
In the Aliens Centre, detainees can access the recreational facilities for 2 hours a day. The recreational facilities are considered inadequate and one of the main shortcomings in terms of conditions in the centre is that outdoor exercise is only available in a small closed-off courtyard of the centre. The centre also holds a bigger and better-equipped playground with a view over the surrounding nature, yet detainees are usually not allowed access as constant supervision would be required to prevent escapes. Apart from table tennis in the main accommodation area, other options for indoor exercise are not provided.
The centre has a small library, several television sets and an internet room which is available for a limited amount of time in accordance with a weekly schedule.
The Aliens Centre employs five social workers who are available to detainees every day from morning to evening and also organise various activities such as language courses, trainings on hygiene and disease prevention and sport activities. In 2019, social workers organised 38 English language courses, nine creative workshops, board games, computer courses, Slovenian language courses, health courses and six educational workshops on different topics. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Slovenia visits the centre around once a week to carry out recreational and psycho-social activities.
Health care and special needs in detention
The health care of the detainees is the same as for other asylum seekers. They have access to health care services provided in the Asylum Home or the Aliens Centre and are entitled to urgent medical services. Psychological counselling is also provided to them under the same conditions as other asylum seekers. A psychiatrist, the same person working in the Asylum Home, visits the Aliens Centre when required.
Vulnerable persons can be detained both in the Aliens Centre and in the Asylum Home. Asylum seekers are detained in separate units of the Aliens Centre according to their personal circumstances i.e. families, unaccompanied children and other vulnerable persons. Vulnerability is identified by the centre staff upon arrival.