The rights of thousands of people who were removed from the registry of permanent residents in 1992 (known as the “erased”) continued to be violated. Members of Romani communities continued to face discrimination, including in access to education.
The Social Democrats won parliamentary elections in September, forming a coalition government in November which included members of the Social Democrats, the Zares Party, the Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia and the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia. Borut Pahor, of the Social Democrats, was appointed Prime Minister.
Discrimination – the ‘erased’
The authorities continued to fail to guarantee the rights of a group of permanent residents known as the “erased”. A year after Slovenia’s declaration of independence in 1991, more than 18,000 individuals were unlawfully removed from the registry of permanent residents. They were people originating from other former Yugoslav republics, many of them Roma, who had been living in Slovenia but had not acquired Slovenian citizenship after independence. The move was discriminatory as citizens of former Yugoslav republics were treated less favourably than other foreign nationals whose permanent residency status was granted automatically.
"School curricula and teaching materials in Romani languages were not available to pupils..."
As a result of the “erasure”, many permanent residents were forcibly expelled from Slovenia. Many others lost their jobs, were denied access to education and the right to a comprehensive healthcare service. The issue of the “erased” was the subject of much political debate in the run-up to the September parliamentary elections.
The Constitutional Committee of Parliament initiated a discussion on a draft constitutional law on the “erased”. The draft law, which had been presented by the government in 2007, would maintain discriminatory treatment of the “erased”. It would provide new legal grounds for discriminatory actions by the authorities, including the possibility of reversing individual decisions to restore permanent residency. It fails to restore the permanent residency status of the “erased”, disclaims state responsibility for the “erasure” and explicitly excludes the possibility of reparations, including compensation for human rights violations suffered by the “erased”.
Through the year deportation procedures were initiated against “erased” individuals, although deportations were not carried out.
The authorities failed to acknowledge the discriminatory nature of the “erasure”, and did not implement two earlier Constitutional Court decisions which found the “erasure” illegal and anti-constitutional.
Discrimination – Roma
The authorities failed to conduct an independent and thorough evaluation of the so-called “Bršljin model”, designed to enable pupils needing separate tuition to catch up and to return to mainstream classes. Despite the declared aim, the model could foster segregation as some of the catch-up classes were composed exclusively of Roma. The authorities failed to provide any evidence that Romani pupils in fact benefited from the catch-up classes.
The authorities also failed to submit plans on the development of the Bršljin model for public consultation, including with Roma communities. Amnesty International was granted access to specific information about the evaluation of the model only after having initiated an administrative complaint to the state commissioner for public information.
School curricula and teaching materials in Romani languages were not available to pupils during 2008, nor was Roma culture reflected in the teaching materials in a comprehensive way.