General

Slovenia

Country Report: General Last updated: 25/05/22

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The decision on detention of asylum applicants is taken by the Migration Directorate. Asylum seekers can be detained in the Foreigners Centre or in the Asylum Home.

Most asylum seekers are generally not formally detained.

Detention of asylum seekers in 2017-2020
2017 2018 2019 2020
Aliens Centre 47 123 22 217
Asylum Home 1 0 1 0

 

In March 2019, the Supreme Court ruled, in accordance with the CJEU judgment C-538/15, Al Chodor, that the provisions of the IPA regarding the detention are not in accordance with the Dublin Regulation, since the IPA does not contain the definition of the “risk of absconding” and the objective criteria needed to establish the risk of absconding in an individual case.[1] The Supreme Court therefore ruled that detention in the Dublin procedure is not lawful since the IPA does not contain the proper legal ground for detention. Since the provisions of the IPA regarding detention have not been amended, asylum seekers in Slovenia could not be detained in the Dublin procedure or on any other ground that requires the risk of absconding to be  established. Following the judgment of the Supreme Court, asylum seekers in the Dublin procedure were, therefore, not detained in Slovenia pending their Dublin procedure. The only possible ground for detention in Slovenia until the  amendments to the IPA were made was in order to prevent security threats to the country or to the constitutional order of the Republic of Slovenia or if it is necessary to protect personal safety, property and other grounds related to public safety.

In 2021, the IPA was amended and the definition of the risk of absconding was added. This enabled the authorities to detain asylum seekers again in 2021. In addition, the IPA now allows the UOIM to detain asylum seekers in order to prevent security threats to the country or to the constitutional order of the Republic of Slovenia or if it is necessary to protect personal safety, property and other grounds related to public safety. The UOIM did not have this authority based on the previous provisions of the IPA.

The changes include a provision that allows the Migration Directorate to detain asylum seekers and individuals who have expressed the intention to apply for international protection but have not yet lodged the application. According to the new amendments, asylum seekers detained in the Foreigners Centre can be subject to the same measures as foreigners if they violate the rules of the Foreigners Centre.[2] This means that they can be subject to solitary confinement[3], prohibited to attend the activities in the centre, or have their rights limited.[4]

Detained asylum seekers also had trouble in obtaining legal help and representation from refugee counsellors. Although 69 individuals were detained, only 53 judicial reviews against the detention orders were made.[5]

Apart from asylum applicants, the Foreigners Centre also detains aliens in return procedures, which is the main purpose of the institution. In 2021, 2367 aliens were  detained throughout the year. The highest number of detainees were nationals of Pakistan, AfghanistanBangladesh and Turkey. At the end of the year, 25 individuals were detained in the Foreigners Centre out of which 10 were asylum seekers.[6]

A regime of de facto detention is applied to all newly arrived asylum seekers. Upon arrival in the Asylum Home or its branch Logatec, applicants are held in the reception area of the building without free access to its other parts. The UOIM began a practice of locking up the area where they are accommodated due to a high number of people absconding from the procedure prior to lodging applications and giving fingerprints for Eurodac. Until 2017, people were detained for short periods, rarely exceeding one day. However, due to organisational difficulties such as the unavailability of interpreters and doctors, there have been cases of persons, including families and unaccompanied children, held in the reception area for five-six days on average. The trend continued throughout 2018 and 2019 due to a large number of arrivals. In 2020 and 2021, individuals waited up to 20 days to lodge the application partly due to the obligatory quarantine.  People were de facto detained for up to 20 days when they were waiting to lodge their application. The rooms in the pre-reception areas of the Asylum Home were often overcrowded and did not guarantee any privacy to the individuals. In Logatec individuals were first accommodated in the containers and moved to the separate buildings only after the quarantine period was over.

Detention itself does not have an impact on the overall quality of the asylum procedure. According to Article 48 IPA, applications of the detained asylum seekers should be prioritised, yet it is not clear to what degree this provision is respected in practice as statistics on the prioritised procedures are not collected by the Migration Directorate.

In 2021, 1323 individuals expressed their intention to apply for asylum in the Foreigners Centre.[7]

 

 

 

[1] Supreme Court Decision, X Ips 1/2019 from 13 March 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2TSXCNr.

[2] Article 84(10)-(12) IPA.

[3] Article 77 Foreigners Act.

[4] Article 76.c(2) Foreigners Act.

[5] Official statistics provided by the Police, March 2022.

[6] Official statistics provided by the Police, March 2022.

[7] Official statistics provided by the Police, March 2022.

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