Freedom Status: Free
Aggregate Score: 92 (0 = Least Free, 100 = Most Free)
Freedom Rating: 1.0 (1 = Most Free, 7 = Least Free)
Political Rights: 1 (1 = Most Free, 7 = Least Free)
Civil Liberties: 1 (1 = Most Free, 7 = Least Free)

Quick Facts

Population: 2,100,000
Capital: Ljubljana
GDP/capita: $20,727
Press Freedom Status: Free


Slovenia is a parliamentary republic with a freely elected government, and political rights and civil liberties are generally respected. A handful of harsh media laws, including one criminalizing defamation, occasionally limit press freedom.

Key Developments in 2016:

  • In April, the National Assembly passed a law allowing same-sex couples to enter partnerships that grant them most of the same rights as married couples.

  • Also in April, the government announced plans to construct a new prison facility by 2020, in order to ease persistent overcrowding.

  • Noting its satisfaction with the process, the Council of Europe in May ended its supervision of damage payments the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had ordered Slovenia to pay to a group of people known as "the erased." They had been removed from official records after failing to apply for citizenship or permanent residency following Slovenian independence, losing some rights as a result.

Executive Summary:

Slovenia's National Assembly in April approved a new law that granted people entering same-sex partnerships most of the same rights conferred by marriage. However, the law did not grant same-sex couples the right to adopt children or undergo in-vitro fertilization procedures, and marriage is still legally defined as a union between a man and a woman.

While prison conditions meet international standards, overcrowding has been a problem. To address it, the government announced in April that it is building a new prison facility, to be completed by 2020.

In May, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe officially closed the examination of Kurić v. Slovenia, known as "the erased" case, saying it was satisfied that Slovenia fulfilled its obligation to pay compensation to the victims as demanded by the ECHR. The examination's closure represented a major milestone in Slovenia's attempts to address of decades-long violations of the rights of so-called erased people, who were removed from official registers after failing to apply for citizenship or residency after Slovenian independence was declared. Legislation adopted in 2010 reinstated the legal status of the "erased," but implementation has been problematic, and court proceedings in some individual cases continued in 2016.

Slovenia housed over 350 refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in its asylum centers in 2016. In September, refugees demonstrated at an asylum center in Vič over bureaucratic delays related to the status of their asylum claims, which prevented them from attending school and gaining lawful employment while residing in Slovenia.

Explanatory Note:

This country report has been abridged for Freedom in the World 2017. For background information on political rights and civil liberties in Slovenia, see Freedom in the World 2016.

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