Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions

Slovenia

Country Report: Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions Last updated: 25/05/22

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The only form of reception conditions that can be withdrawn is the monthly allowance of 18€. This can occur if the applicant:

  • leaves the municipality in which he/she is accommodated without informing the authorities;
  • fails to fulfil the obligation to provide information to the authorities;
  • does not attend their personal interview; or
  • commits a serious violation of the house rules.[1]

In 2019 the withdrawal or reduction of the monthly allowance to asylum seekers became a regular practice and UOIM issued 115 decisions to withdraw the monthly allowance (principally on account of persons staying the night outside of the Asylum Home without prior permission).[2] In 2020, UOIM issued 181 decisions to withdraw this monthly allowance for disciplinary purposes. 179 of these decisions were issued because the person did not return to the premises of the Asylum Home in time, and 2 were issued because the person deliberately caused damage to Asylum Home property.[3] In 2021 UOIM issued 53 decisions to withdraw the monthly allowance. They were all issued because the person did not return to the premises of the Asylum Home in time.[4]

The decision to reduce or withdraw the monthly allowance is made by the authorized person of UOIM. When making the decision they must take into account the special individual circumstances of the asylum seeker and the principle of proportionality.[5] The IPA does not regulate the assessment of the asylum seekers’ risk of destitution or ability to provide for their own basic needs, nor does it define “destitution” or “basic needs”. Similarly, and in practice, the decision to reduce or withdraw the monthly allowance does not contain the assessment of the asylum seekers’ risk of destitution or ability to provide for their basic needs but only the legal grounds and the reason for the decision.

The applicant can submit an appeal against the decision on withdrawal of monthly allowance within three days to the head of UOIM; in such case free legal assistance by PIC is available to asylum applicants in practice, though not guaranteed by law.

The Supreme Administrative Court also announced decisions in two cases regarding individuals with restricted movement within detention centres. The court confirmed that that the requirements for imposing such a measure had not been met, and dismissed the Ministry of the Interior’s appeal for an extraordinary remedy.[6]

Another case concerned an applicant who left the reception centre for more than 3 days (this being the period within which the reception place is still kept) without explanation. The court concluded that the applicant’s behaviour suggested that he had no interest in waiting for a court decision and the administrative court acted in a legal manner by rejecting the case, even though the law does not foresee this specific circumstance for rejection. The Supreme Administrative Court also underlined that applicants have obligations, such as being available to the national authorities.[7]

In addition, the new amendments of the IPA allow the UOIM to resettle the asylum seeker to another accommodation centre, if the asylum seeker commits certain serious violations of the house rules.[8] This measure was not used in 2021.

The new amendments also introduced a severe de facto reduction of reception conditions in case the applicant commits the following severe violations of the house rules:

  • brings or consumes alcohol or other intoxicants;
  • enables the accommodation of another person in the room;
  • violates the public order and peace.

The amendments allow the UOIM to ‘accommodate’ the asylum seeker in another, special, separate room in the pre-reception area of the Asylum Home for up to 3 days or less, if the measure has reached its purpose.[9] It should be noted that the measure itself amounts to solitary confinement and de facto detention, although it is not defined as such in the IPA, and the procedural provisions for detention do not apply. Applicants who are ‘accommodated’ in the separate room are notified about the detention orally and given a written decision in 24 hours. The applicant can lodge an objection to the UOIM against the decision within 3 days of receiving the written decision.[10] As the measure imposed is no longer in place, by the time the applicant is in a position to lodge the objection, the legal remedy is not effective. Applicants also do not have free legal help or representation provided by law in the first instance or before the court. This measure was not used in 2021.[11]

 

 

 

[1] Article 85(2) IPA.

[2] Official statistics provided by UOIM, January 2020.

[3] Official statistics provided by UOIM, January 2021.

[4] Official statistics provided by UOIM, March 2022.

[5] Article 85(3) IPA.

[6] Ministry of the Interior v Applicant (no. 2), available at https://bit.ly/3yD94mA.

[7] ECLI:SI:VSRS:2020:I.UP.129.2020, 30 September 2020, available at : https://bit.ly/3yD6Pj0. See EASO Asylum Report 2021 at https://bit.ly/3L653cM, p.148.

[8] Article 82.b IPA.

[9] Article 82.b(2) IPA.

[10] Article 82.b (4) IPA.

[11] Official statistics provided by UOIM, 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