[JURIST] The Slovenian parliament passed amendments to the Aliens Act [text] to enact emergency measures to deny refugees entry into the country and to expel those whom did not have their asylum claims properly assessed on Wednesday. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [AI report] that refugees are entitled the protections being stripped by these amendments under international and EU law. AI has denounced this action as a “serious backward step for human rights in Slovenia.” AI’s Researcher for the Balkans and the European Union Jelena Sesar has stated:
By sealing its borders to these desperate people and turning its back on its international obligations, Slovenia is treading the same unseemly path as its neighbours—Hungary and Austria. This is deeply regrettable for a country which has traditionally upheld core human rights values and has been a true leader in the region.
The rights of refugee and migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issues around the world. In November experts questioned humanitarian conditions at Grecian migrant camps when a 66-year-old woman and six-year-old boy died [JURIST report] in a camp fire. In April several aid organizations urged [JURIST report] EU leaders to stop deportations of migrants from Greece to Turkey and to stop detaining asylum seekers. Also in April Human Rights Watch reported [JURIST report] that the first deportation of 66 people from the Greek island of Chios to Turkey was “riddled with an array of irregularities.” In April former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged [JURIST report] world leaders to accept more refugees and to combat the growing international anti-refugee sentiments. That same month, an independent UN human rights expert encouraged EU leaders to remain steadfast [JURIST report] in their obligations to handle the recent influx of migrants to the EU.