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Slovenia: Fully independent national equality body has been set up

The Council of Europe’s Anti-racism Commission (the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance – ECRI) in a new report concludes that Slovenia satisfactorily implemented two out of three recommendations made in its last country monitoring report for priority implementation within two years.

In 2014, ECRI urged the authorities to set up a fully independent national specialised body to combat discrimination. In May 2016, the Protection against Discrimination Act entered into force establishing the Advocate of the Principle of Equality as an independent and specialised national body to fight discrimination in all fields, and who was nominated in October 2016. The Advocate provides legal advice and assistance to victims, conducts research, and has the right to lodge a claim for constitutional review of discriminatory laws. ECRI concludes that this recommendation has been implemented.

Secondly, in its 2014 report ECRI strongly recommended that the authorities find a solution to compensating the persons erased from the registers of permanent residents of Slovenia following the break-up of Yugoslavia, who became aliens with no legal status in Slovenia. It also urged the authorities to resolve the legal status of any such people who wished to obtain Slovenian citizenship or permanent residence in Slovenia. ECRI notes the efforts made by the Slovenian authorities to facilitate regularisation of legal status and to establish a compensation scheme. Although certain issues remain unresolved, including compensation for the “erased” who have not regularised their legal status in Slovenia or who were rejected under the amended legal status legislation, overall ECRI concludes that its recommendation has been implemented.

Thirdly, ECRI urged the authorities to ensure immediately that all Roma have a practical access to a safe water supply in or in the vicinity of their settlements. Despite some efforts on the part of the authorities and 2 million euros allocated for utility projects, only one settlement received non-insulated water cisterns where the water froze during the winter, and no water was supplied to other informal settlements. ECRI concludes that there is still a lack of practical access to a safe water supply for many Roma and therefore the recommendation has not been implemented.

For more, visit the ECRI website

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