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Nils Muižnieks: Migrant law amendments violate Slovenia’s international human rights obligations

Law-makers in Slovenia have violated the country’s international human rights obligations by adopting legal changes affecting migrants, according to Nils Muižnieks.

In a Facebook post published earlier today, the Commissioner for Human Rights wrote: “While the latest legislative revisions introduce an individualised identification procedure, I remain concerned that the amendments to the Slovenian Aliens Act adopted yesterday violate Slovenia’s international human rights obligations, as I stated in my recent letter to the President of the National Assembly.

“The amendments, which would be activated when the migration situation ‘jeopardises public order and national security’, fall short of providing appropriate guarantees against refoulement, as well as onward refoulement by a neighbouring country, and of establishing adequate safeguards for the right of every person to seek and enjoy asylum.

“An individualised identification process is necessary, but not enough in itself, if migrants are still denied a proper examination of their personal circumstances and asylum request, and left without an effective remedy.

“The adoption of this legislation is a negative step that may have repercussions on the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers in the whole region. I encourage the Slovenian authorities to reconsider these exceptional measures and to ensure fair procedures in line with European and international standards.

“I look forward to discussing this matter further with the authorities during my upcoming visit to Slovenia in March.”

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