Equality ombudsman finds ten cases of discrimination in 2021

Ljubljana – The parliamentary Labour Committee discussed on Wednesday the annual report by Slovenia’s equal opportunities ombudsman for 2021, which notes that discrimination occurred in ten reported cases.

Advocate of the Principle of Equality Miha Lobnik said he had conducted a total of 119 administrative procedures last year, 65 of which had been concluded, and the rest would be handled this year.

Lobnik brought to attention the case of a civil servant who was given a lower annual performance assessment just because she was on maternity leave, the case of homosexual men being denied the opportunity of donating blood, and the case of a worker being denied a Christmas bonus over low work attendance due to health reasons.

The committee was also presented with two specialised reports – one on the situation of the deaf in the Slovenian education system, and the other on the situation of transgender individuals in proceedings concerning medical gender identity confirmation and legal recognition of gender.

The report on the deaf community states that the Education Ministry has not yet fulfilled Lobnik’s recommendation that sign language interpreters should be provided and that free-of-charge sign language classes should be organised for parents and teachers.

The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has not yet taken action regarding Lobnik’s proposal that dedicated scholarships should be granted to students with disabilities, either, the committee heard.

The equal opportunities ombudsman also urged the ministry to set minimal standards for accessibility to goods and services, including education.

The transgender community reported calls for the Health Ministry to secure funds for a national contact point to be established. This would provide transgender individuals with information on patient rights while also giving them the opportunity to consult with medical experts on gender confirmation surgery and related matters.

Lobnik also urged decision-makers to draw up a bill on legal recognition of gender.

The committee started the session by discussing a request by the Ljubljana Higher Court for a constitutional review of the act on social inclusion of people with disabilities.

It sided with the opinion of the parliamentary legal service that the right of people with disabilities to special protection and their situation in society was regulated in an appropriate and constitutional manner.