The Asylum Home is located approximately 20 minutes by bus from the Ljubljana city centre in a rather isolated area, while the Branch Facility Kotnikova is in the city centre. The towns of Logatec and Postojna, where the other two branch facilities are established, are located 30 km and 50 km from Ljubljana respectively.
The Asylum Home was renovated in 2017. The average room surface in the Asylum Home is around 3.75 – 7.50 m2 per applicant, the same as before renovation, and of similar size to the rooms in the branch facilities. Applicants are normally accommodated in rooms for two to four persons. Bathrooms in all facilities are shared. Hygiene and other conditions in the Asylum Home and its branch facilities are generally considered to be satisfactory.
Applicants are provided three meals per day. Children up to the age of 15 are entitled to two additional intermediate meals. The menu is adapted to special medical or other needs on the basis of a doctor’s certificate or other proof. Religious and other dietary customs are taken into consideration, whenever possible. Asylum seekers in the Asylum Home as well as all branch facilities also have common kitchens at their disposal in which they can cook for themselves.
The Asylum Home employs social workers, a doctor and a nurse, who are present in the facility on a daily basis. A psychiatrist visits the Asylum Home on a weekly schedule and is also available to applicants from branch facilities upon appointment. Social workers are available in the branch facilities as well. Medical assistance is mostly organised through appointments at regular clinics and hospitals. Security is provided by personnel of a security company. Legal counselling is provided by PIC and various other assistance and activities by other NGOs.
The facilities could benefit from more regular employment of cultural mediators and interpreters to help with reception issues and activities, so far only available inconsistently through projects. The number of staff in the facilities is otherwise generally considered sufficient, although it may be lacking during certain periods of time (e.g. due to gaps in implementation of projects).
In 2022, overcrowding due to the large number of new arrivals continued. Due to the lack of capacity the accommodation centre in Logatec was reorganised in a reception/accommodation centre for people fleeing Ukraine due to conflict. All of the families, single women and unaccompanied children were moved to the Asylum Home in Ljubljana or the Student dormitory in Postojna. In Logatec, some people were first accommodated in containers, and moved to one of the rooms in the separate buildings when they became available. Vulnerable asylum seekers were also accommodated in Logatec during the year.
The medical examination is performed before the interview. Before the medical examination was performed people could move freely on the premises of the Asylum Home. After they lodged their applications, they were accommodated in the Asylum Home or one of its branches.
The Slovenian Ombudsman visited the Asylum Home and its branch Logatec in 2022 due to reports of overcrowding and bad conditions. During the visit the rooms of the Asylum Home were severely overcrowded and people had less then 4m2 of personal space available. The persons’ personal space was limited to the bed and there was no privacy. Applicants did not have any space where they could lock their belongings as there was no other furniture except for the beds in the rooms. A large number of persons had to share the same room. Most of the rooms could not be locked. Do to lack of space 6 containers were put outside the Asylum Home. The temperature in the rooms and the containers was too high. The Ombudsman noted that the hygiene and cleanliness was still sufficient. Based on the visit the Ombudsman concluded that accommodation conditions in the Asylum Home do not reach the minimal standards set out by the EASO/EUAA guidelines. In the report the Ombudsman noted that the situation is especially concerning regarding the right to personal dignity, the right to privacy and the right to personal security. In the opinion of the Ombudsman the conditions to a certain extent contributed to the high absconding rate. Therefore, the conditions also violated the right to asylum enshrined in Article 18 of the Charter. The Ombudsman concluded that the conditions were the consequence of lack of capacity. He recommended that additional capacity be guaranteed together with additional staff.
During the visit asylum seekers, TP holders and people waiting to lodge the application were accommodated in Logatec, in rooms and containers. Regarding the rooms the Ombudsman noted that they are in line with the accommodation standards set out in EASO/EUAA guidelines. People had a lot of outdoor activities; the rooms could be locked and the whole centre was properly cleaned. However, based on the visit the Ombudsman concluded that accommodation conditions in Logatec do not reach the minimal standards set out by the EASO/EUAA guidelines when overcrowded. Similar to above, the situation is especially concerning regarding the right to personal dignity, the right to privacy and the right to personal security. Again in the opinion of the Ombudsman the conditions to a certain extent contributed to the high absconding rate. Therefore, the conditions also violated the right to asylum enshrined in Article 18 of the Charter. The Ombudsman concluded that the conditions were the consequence of lack of capacity. He recommended that additional capacity be guaranteed together with additional staff. The Ombudsman also recommended that the containers should not be used.
Activities in the centres
Many NGOs and humanitarian organisations provide support in the Asylum Home on a regular basis. PIC lawyers are available to asylum seekers for legal aid and assistance in the Asylum Home through the telephone and upon previous appointment. Slovenian language classes were provided by the company Limes d.o.o. ADRA carried out different free time activities and workshops.
Slovene Philanthropy conducted different workshops on integration related topics. Zavod Emma provided psycho-social counselling as well as workshops on sexual and gender-based violence. Asylum seekers also have a room in the Asylum Home dedicated for prayer and practicing their religion.
The Branch Facility Kotnikova is visited by PIC lawyers providing legal counselling once per week. Slovenian literacy classes were carried by Javni zavod Cene Štupar and Slovenian language classes were provided by the company Limes d.o.o. Slovene Philanthropy conducted different workshops on integration related topics. Zavod Emma provided counselling to victims of SGBV twice per month.
In the Branch Facility Logatec Slovenian language classes and additional learning support was provided by the company Limes d.o.o. Unicef Slovenia carried out psycho-social support through different activities, workshops for children, provided support and information for children, families and mothers with young children. ADRA carried out different free time activities and workshops. Slovene Philanthropy conducted different workshops on integration related topics and activities for children.
One shortcoming observed in the Slovenian system is that pre-school children do not have access to regular kindergartens and families can, in this regard, only rely on NGO activities, which may not always be available or sufficient. In 2021 the child daycare activities were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic however they were not implemented again in 2022 although other activities resumed.
In the Student Dormitory Postojna, activities are mostly carried out by the staff of the facility; various educational, cultural and sports activities are organised by them in the dormitory and outside. Children also attend Slovenian and literacy classes organised by Ljudska univerza Postojna. Various other smaller activities and assistance are implemented by other organisations. PIC lawyers visit the facility to provide legal counselling upon prior appointment.
Average duration of stay
Considering that most persons applying for asylum in Slovenia abscond – 6,305 individuals absconded in 2022 out of the total of 6,787 applicants (i.e. approximately 92%) – usually within a short time after the application, the turnover of people in the reception facilities is quite high. Applicants in the regular procedure often wait for the decision for over six months, possibly over one year or longer. The duration of Dublin procedures varies considerably and may be quick or take several months or longer. The average duration of accommodation in 2022 per person was 14 days. The average duration of stay in the Asylum Home was 7 days, in Kotnikova 16 days, in Logatec 15 days, and 15 days in the Student Dormitory Postojna.
 European Migration Network (EMN), Focused Study: The Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in different Member states, Slovene national contribution, 2013.
 Article 14 Decree on the methods and conditions for ensuring the rights of applicants for international protection.
 Ombudsman, Končno poročilo z obiska Azilnega doma v Ljubljani, 7.0-2/2022-8-NAB (21. 9.2022).
 Obmudsman, Poročilo z obiska nastanitvenega centra v Logatcu, 7.0-4/2022-4-NAB.
 The project was concluded in December 2019.
 Information provided by UOIM, February 2023.