16 Years Later: Political and Legal Aspects of Erasure in Slovenia
Neža Kogovšek Šalamon
Purpose and goals:
The conference was dedicated to political and legal aspects of erasure from the register of permanent residents of the Republic of Slovenia which was carried out on 26 February 1992. On that day the authorities unlawfully erased 18.305 residents of Slovenia (almost 1 % of the population), who were mostly citizens of one of the other republics of the former Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia), due to which these people were left without any legal status. The reason for this was that they did not apply for Slovenian citizenship and consequently the authorities perceived them as non-loyal to the newly established nation-state. The conference aimed at responding to void and silence, which with rare exceptions, lasts for already 16 years not only in legal profession and professional politics but also in the field of civil society, social sciences and humanities. In spite of Constitutional Court decisions the erasure until today has not been resolved, and the representatives of the state have not expressed their apologies for the act. Even though many of the erased managed to regulated their legal status in Slovenia over the years, experiences of deportations, suicides, as well as lost employment, apartments, family members and partners, friends, health insurances and pensions. Today there are at least 4000 people who still don't have any legal status in Slovenia, and many of them live in other successor states of the former Yugoslavia, in Europe and across the world. On the other hand the legal and political struggle in support of erased by activists and some non-governmental organizations is quite strong, however, in spite of this the erasure remains a stain on legal and political image of Slovenia.