The Erased - Information and documents

Assistance to the erased persons in regulating their legal status and awareness raising of the public on the erasure and the status of remedying the violations.


Proposed measures

There are several issues that remain unaddressed in relation of remedying the violations caused to the erased people, despite the 2010 legislative amendments adopted with an aim to address some of these issues. These issues are described in detail under Unresolved issues.

The measures aimed at remedying the violations should include an apology, compensation, establishing all facts on erasure and responsibility for this act, and ensure rehabilitation of the erased who suffered mental or physical health problems because of the erasure. With an aim to remedy the violations of human rights caused to the erased people the following concrete measures would need to be adopted:

1. To amend the rules governing the regulation of legal statuses of the erased persons

In 2010, amendments to the Act Regulating the Legal Status of Citizens of Former Yugoslavia Living in the Republic of Slovenia were adopted.

The purpose of these amendments was to implement the ruling of the Constitutional Court No. U-I-246/02 of 3 April 2003.

The problem of these amendments is that with them the Constitutional Court ruling was implemented in the most minimal way, and consequently the violations caused to the erased people were not remedied at all.

The most important measure that needs to be adopted is to simplify the administrative procedure for acquisition of permanent residence permit with retroactive effect. In order to obtain such permit no additional conditions should be set forth, except for the condition that the person was unlawfully deprived of his or her legal status and unlawfully erased from the register of permanent residence. permanent residence permits would therefore need to be issued to the erased people solely by their registration at the competent body.

2. To recognize the erased people their right to family reunification under more lenient conditions

The erased people who raised a family after being erased (meaning that their family members do not technically fall in the group of the erased people), will not be able to return to Slovenia if their family members are not provided with an option to regulate their legal status under more lenient conditions.

Currently, the erased people have to meet the same conditions for family reunification as all other foreigners (sponsors). They have to prove that they have sufficient means of subsistence, health insurance and valid passport for their family members. These conditions are not appropriate for the erased people as their specific position is not taken into account.

If the acquisition of a residence permit is made possible only for the erased people and not to their family members (or if such possibility is given under strict conditions that they cannot meet) there is a risk of violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which guarantees the right to protection of private and family life of a person.

It would be appropriate if the right to obtain a permanent residence permit would be recognized not only to the erased persons but also to their close family members. otherwise the possibility to acquire a permanent residence status of which they have been unlawfully deprived might be useless and cannot be considered as an appropriate measure for remedying the violations.

3. To recognize the right to housing to the erased people who were left homeless because of the erasure or who would like to return to Slovenia in case of absence

The erased people who were left without any possibility to buy an apartment (because of restrictive real estate policy which did not allow selling real estate to foreigners in the time of independence) or to rent non-profit apartments which are only available to Slovenian nationals, often encounter difficulties due to insecure housing situation. many have been left homeless due to the erasure.

Even if the erased people acquire a permanent residence permit they cannot rent non-profit apartments. Accordingly, the change of housing polices in Slovenia are urgent in order to enable the long-term residents in Slovenia access to non-profit housing.

For urgent cases in which it is not possible to wait the authorities should identify options which are available in such matters and offer empty facilities owned by the state into use by the erased people and their family members until a more permanent solution is found in each particular case.

4. To issue an official apology on the national level

One of the open issues is also the issue of an official apology of the Republic of Slovenia to the erased people for the violations that have been caused to them. The apologies, expressed by the Minister of Interior Katarina Kresal and the president of the National Assembly Pavel Gantar, are of immense importance. However, the apologies were expressed only verbally and are not included in any of the official documents.

One possibility to issue such an apology would be adoption of a National Assembly resolution on the apology to the erased people with a commitment to do everything that is necessary to remedy the violations and to prevent any similar violations from taking place in the future.

5. To recognize the right to compensation for damages in accordance with Article 26 of the Constitution

With an aim to award compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages it would be necessary to adopt a Law on remedies for human rights violations.

Such law should contain a methodology for awarding compensations. It would not be appropriate to award lump sum compensations, a better solution would be to define certain damage indicators that would be taken into account on a case-by-case basis (for example, a certain amount for each day of being erased). Lump sum compensations would only cause new injustices. The compensations could be limited, but by no means could they be completely excluded as this would violate Article 26 of the Constitution.

Such law could be prepared based on examples of other similar laws that were adopted for groups of people who were not able to claim compensations in regular court procedures.

6. To include the representatives of the erased people in the preparation of measures

It is necessary that the representatives of the erased people as victims of the unlawful deprivation of legal status are included in the preparation of measures. Only this will ensure that the measures proposed or adopted are legitimate.