February 26. 2024. 5:37

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Slovenia mulls faster labour market access for asylum seekers

Slovenia is considering shortening the time asylum seekers must wait before accessing the labour market, with the Interior Ministry saying on Thursday that a proposal is already in the pipeline.

The government is now looking into moving in the direction of giving applicants for international protection faster and more effective access to the labour market, the ministry said, citing global migration levels, the economic situation and the need to ensure respect for human rights.

This announcement came in reaction to an appeal from NGOs which demanded equal treatment for asylum seekers and Ukrainian refugees. Ministry officials plan to meet with representatives of NGOs in the coming weeks.

Slovenian NGOs often criticise authorities for how they deal with asylum seekers.

In particular, the organisations bemoan the fact asylum seekers cannot work while they wait for their applications to be processed – a process that can take months and during which asylum seekers only receive an allowance of €18 per month.

“We can count the number of approved asylum applications in Slovenia on the fingers of one hand. For asylum seekers, the only option is to flee or be deported,” the activist Miha Blažič has said.

(Sebastijan R. Maček | sta.si)