The Advocate of the Principle of Equality

Overview:

The Advocate of the Principle of Equality (The Advocate) is an independent state body established to ensure the exercise of the constitutional right to protection against discrimination. With this body, the Republic of Slovenia also ensures the proper implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU) and the European directives in the field of protection against discrimination. Its main tasks are related to awareness raising and promotion of equality, support and assistance to victims of discrimination as well as non-binding decision-making with recomendation issuing regarding the reported cases of discrmination on various grounds. The Advocate of the Principle of Equality:

  • researches and monitors the state of discrimination in the country, makes recommendations and proposals for the adoption of special measures to the competent institutions, raises public awareness of protection against discrimination and exchanges information within the European Union;
  • provides information, counselling and representation to victims of discrimination;
  • accepts complaints and establishes the existence of discrimination.
 

Brief history

The Advocate of the Principle of Equality was established as an independent and autonomous national equality body in 2016 with the Protection against Discrimination Act (PADA).

Prior to the establishment of the Advocate, the protection against discrimination in Slovenia was ensured on the basis of the Implementation of the Principle of Equal Treatment Act (IPETA), but the regulation did not meet the requirements of the European equality directives.

The legal basis for the establishment of the Advocate is the Protection against Discrimination Act (PADA), which has been in force since 24 May 2016 and sets out in detail the powers and tasks of the body. The Head of the Institution, the Advocate of the Principle of Equality, is elected by the National Assembly based on a proposal by the President of the Republic of Slovenia; the term of office of the Head is five years. On 26 October 2016, Miha Lobnik became the first Head of the independent state body.

 

Mandate Type

Combined tribunal-type and promotion-type

Litigation power:

  • Representing in front of courts
  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • Intervening before the court
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) legally binding
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding
  • The Advocate has a mix of quasy judicial and promotional duties, i.e. can support vicims in legal proceedings with remedies (counseling), or can provide guidance to prevent and dismantle discrimination.

Activities

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Our institution has a mandate to deal with:

  • Violence against women
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Hate crime
  • Hate speech
  • not specific mandate, but when it overlaps with discrimination, the Advocate can deal with these, and has also a general duty to report crimes. Some of the issues are also dealt with by promotional activities.

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)669475655182103200
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)83
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media5155563

Management

  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

Management details

The head of the independent state body is Miha Lobnik. The Advocate employs 20 members of staff.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
1111

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Age
Disability
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief
Other grounds:

Gender Expression, Social Status, Property Status, Other

Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
1079667

We are accountable to

  • National Parliament
  • and the Government (Annual report)