Update from June 2022:
There still is little available data on the stateless population in Slovenia. The latest UNHCR Global Trends report gives a figure of 8 stateless people, including those forcibly displaced, under its statelessness mandate in Slovenia at the end 2021, noting that the figure is an estimate based on previous NGO analysis of government data and may not represent the full magnitude of statelessness in Slovenia.
There were no major legal or policy reforms in 2021. Positively, in October 2021, Slovenian authorities issued a guidance for administrative units to encourage the registration of paternity in the Slovenian civil registry on the basis of an acknowledgement of paternity, when it is evident that the parents are unable to establish paternity in their country of nationality. This is a positive step towards addressing discriminatory birth registration practices which prevented the registration of paternity of foreign parents when they were unable to produce a marriage certificate.
New resources on Slovenia now available include:
Slovenia is party to the 1954, but not the 1961 Convention nor the Council of Europe statelessness instruments. Statelessness can be identified through administrative procedures for the acquisition of a residence permit or naturalisation, leading to different rights depending on the status granted and prescribed conditions. However, people are not granted protection based on their statelessness and the definition of a stateless person in Slovenian law is narrower than the 1954 Convention. There is no obligation on the authorities to consider a claim of statelessness, the burden of proof is on the applicant and there is no legal aid except for judicial review. The protection granted by each permit varies, but a grant of ‘permission to stay’, for example, only ensures access to emergency healthcare, primary education, and basic financial assistance.
There are some gaps in protection against the arbitrary detention of stateless people. Under the Slovenian Constitution, a proportionality test must be carried out when deciding to detain, but in practice a country of removal may not be identified prior to detaining, and alternatives to detention are not routinely considered. There are provisions in nationality law to prevent statelessness in the case of foundlings, adopted children and most children born to Slovenian parents abroad. However, the acquisition of nationality at birth by children born in Slovenia who would otherwise be stateless depends on the status of the parents, who must be stateless or unknown. Slovenia generally performs well on birth registration, but there is no framework or procedure for determining a child’s nationality if born to foreign nationals in the country. There have also been reports of officials refusing to register paternity where foreign parents are unable to produce a marriage certificate, but the competent authorities issued a guidance in October 2021 to encourage administrative units to register paternity where it is evident that the parents are unable to establish paternity in their country of nationality. Slovenia has received several UPR recommendations relating to the status of ‘erased persons’.
Information below by theme was last updated in March 2021.
Katarina Vučko, The Peace Institute