The Foreigners 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 Foreigners 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. The CPT did not detect any ill-treatment by the police in the Foreigners centre. They criticised the fact that unaccompanied minors and families with children in the return procedure are regularly detained and recommended that unaccompanied minors are accommodated in an open or semi-open specialised establishment for minors. They also noted that detention of children with their parents should be a last resort.
In 2020, detention conditions deteriorated due to the large number of detained persons. Due to the lack of reception capacity, individuals were also accommodated outside the Foreigners Centre in containers. The deteriorating conditions encouraged the Slovenian Ombudsman to visit the Foreigners Centre twice in 2020. Based on the visit the Ombudsman concluded that the individuals were not able to leave the area where the containers were located and did not have the possibility to enjoy outdoor activities. The Ombudsman also advised that service dogs should not be used in the presence of migrants. The Ombudsman also remarked that the time limit regarding the lodging the application should be respected. In practice, those who expressed their intention to lodge their application were able to lodge the application a few weeks later. The Ombudsman concluded that the reception conditions outside the Foreigners Centre where asylum seekers were detained in containers were not in accordance with the Reception Directive.
The Ombudsman did not conduct a visit in 2021. A visit was conducted in 2022. The Ombudsman recommended that the findings from monitoring returns conducted by NGO Slovenska Karitas be publicly available. In addition, the Ombudsman urged the Ministry of Interior to find a systemic solution for accommodation of unaccompanied children as detention should be used as a last resort. He also noted that that the help of an interpreter should be used even if the foreigners can understand or speak basic English.
Many smaller issues detected through monitoring activities have been remedied and improved over the years. In 2021, allegations of mistreatment and other inappropriate conduct of the Police and staff were made by asylum seekers and foreigners. Detainees reported that they were beaten and abused by the staff, and that they were put in solitary confinement for longer periods of time. Cases of self-harm, suicide attempts and hunger strikes were reported. In 2021 the Ombudsman finished the investigation into the claims of police violence of two foreigners made in 2020. Regarding solitary confinement, the Ombudsman found severe procedural violations. The Ombudsman also concluded that the documentation available regarding the use of coercive means was lacking in that it did not allow for a comprehensive assessment of the proportionality of the use of force.
In 2022 addition cases of police violence and ill treatment prompted detained asylum seekers to start a hunger strike. The asylum seekers claimed that they were beaten, psychologically tormented and humiliated by the police. The police denied the accusations. An investigation into the accusations was not publicly announced therefore it is not known if it was conducted.
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 Foreigners 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. Regarding the activities the Ombudsman noted in the report after his visit in 2022 that the Foreigners centre should allow the foreigners to engage in more outdoor activities as this would improve their overall well-being.
The centre has a small library, several television sets and an internet room which is available in accordance with a weekly schedule.
The Foreigners Centre employs 5 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.
During 2022 different activities were conducted by social workers including: sport activities, English language classes, workshops, computer courses, cultural events etc. The Jesuit Refugee Service visited the centre every Wednesday and carried out different 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 Foreigners 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 Foreigners Centre when required.
Vulnerable persons can be detained both in the Foreigners Centre and in the Asylum Home. Asylum seekers are detained in separate units of the Foreigners Centre according to their personal circumstances i.e. families, unaccompanied children and other vulnerable persons. Vulnerability is identified by the centre staff upon arrival.
In 2022, social workers focused on individual counselling and the medical staff on preventive health checks. Social workers provided information on preventive measures as part of the accommodation process. Information on preventive measures was also translated into eight languages (i.e. Farsi, English, Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Pashtu, Urdu and Turkish). Social workers informed individuals about all COVID-19 related measures.
 Report to the Slovenian Government on the visit to Slovenia carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 28. March to 4. April 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/3JweXHp.
 Ombudsman: Končno poročilo o obravnavi odreditve bivanja pod strožjim policijskim nadzorom v posebj varovani sobi in uporaba prisilnih sredstev v Centru za tujce v Postojni, no. 8.6-1/2021-21-KO, from 28.6.2021.
 Official statistics provided by the Police, February 2023.