Twenty years ago on 26 February 1992 the Slovenian authorities erased 25.671 people from the register of permanent residence and deprived them of their legal status. This act was committed without any basis in the law. The fact that the erasure was an unlawful act was also determined by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia.
Following a central order of the Ministry of the Interior under the leadership of the then Minister Igor Bavčar and secretary state Slavko Debelak, the erasure was committed by administrative officials working at the local administrative offices across Slovenia. The orders (dispatches) were sent to the local offices in the form of internal instructions, known also as internal circulars.
With this act the officials pushed thousands of people who until then lived in Slovenia as citizens with equal rights, into a position of illegal migrants, who were not allowed to be legally employed, had no access to health services and health insurance, and could not enrol into middle schools or university studies. They were exposed to police checks, detentions in the centres for aliens and deportations. The erased people had to regulate their legal status and their documents anew, as if they just entered Slovenia, in which case, as they testify, they encountered numerous obstacles due to which they were left without any kind of legal status for years or even decades.
With the erasure the Slovenian authorities committed a human rights violation, which is according to the number of victims and the scope of the consequences the gravest of its kind in the history of independent Slovenia.
Twenty years after this unacceptable act of the administrative officials the problem of erasure is still not resolved. The legislative amendments of 2010, adopted by the National Assembly with an aim to attempt to enable the erased people to regulate their legal status in Slovenia, are insufficient (see why). The applications for permanent residence permit lodged by the erased people are too often denied. In addition, there are no re-integration measures foreseen to accompany the adopted legislative amendments, which would provide assistance to the erased people in their re-integration in society.
Since, due to the insufficient legislative measures, it is not possible to establish that the violations, caused with the erasure, are remedied, a group of non-governmental organizations (Amnesty International Slovenia, Association of Erased Residents of Slovenia, and the Peace Institute) addressed a letter to the President of the State, President of the Government, newly elected president of the government, President of the Constitutional Court and members of the parliament. With the letter the NGOs called the authorities to adopt appropriate measures to remedy the violations of the erasure. The letter was accompanied with the memorandum describing the current state of affairs in the field of erasure and the overview of measures adopted and their implementation in practice.