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Concluding Observations, CCPR/C/SVN/CO/3, 24 March 2016: Slovenia

[Cited from the advance unedited version.]

C. Principal matters of concern and recommendations

Racism and xenophobia, including hate speech

7. While noting the legislative measures taken to prohibit hate speech, the Committee is concerned at the use of racist and xenophobic rhetoric by political figures towards persons belonging to minority groups, including migrants and refugees. It also expresses concern that hate speech on the Internet and online forums is on the rise, particularly against migrants, Roma, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons and Muslims. The Committee also regrets the low rates of reporting of and legal responses to cases of racial discrimination, including prosecution of serious cases of hate speech which amount to incitement to hostility or violence (arts. 2, 18, 20 and 26).

8. The State party should strengthen its efforts to prevent and eradicate all forms of racism and xenophobia, including by:

(a) Establishing an independent and effective body to respond to cases of discrimination, including reforming the Advocate for the Principle of Equality to this end;

(b) Adopting a clear strategy on the prevention and elimination of discrimination, in consultation with civil society representatives;

(c) Ensuring that there is an easily-accessible system of transparent and effective legal remedies for victims of discrimination and improving the reporting of and legal responses to cases of racial discrimination, including prosecution of serious cases of hate speech which amount to incitement to hostility or violence;

(d) Condemning racial discrimination and adopting awareness-raising campaigns aimed at promoting respect for human rights and tolerance for diversity, as well as promoting awareness that hate speech is prohibited under law.

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity

9. While commending the efforts made by the State party to guarantee the equal rights of LGBT persons under domestic law, the Committee regrets that the amendments to the Law on Marriage and Family Relations granting, on an equal basis, the rights of same-sex couples to inheritance, to access reproductive treatments and to adopt children, were made subject to a referendum in December 2015 notwithstanding the provisions of the Constitution to the contrary, and were rejected (arts. 2 and 26).

10. The State party should ensure that all LGBT persons are guaranteed equal rights under the Covenant and the Constitution, and intensify its efforts to combat stereotypes and prejudice against LGBT persons, including by launching a nationwide awareness-raising campaign, in cooperation with civil society organizations working in this field.

D. Dissemination of information relating to the Covenant

34. In accordance with rule 71, paragraph 5, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party should provide, within one year of the adoption of the present concluding observations, information on its implementation of the Committee’s recommendations made in paragraphs 8 (racism and xenophobia, including hate speech), 16 (asylum-seekers, migrants and refugees) and 20 (vulnerable persons within the migration flow) above.

Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CCPR-Slovenia-AUV-2016-eng