Slovenia is a parliamentary democracy located on the Adriatic Sea, a member of the European Union and Nato.

 
Systemic Discrimination
Mostly Satisfactory
Free and Equal

Constitution and government

The constitution and accompanying laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and association. These rights are generally respected in practice.

Religious groups are not required to be formally recognised or registered at the governmental level.

The Religious Freedom Act (2007) demonstrated a bias towards the Catholic Church. However, at the behest of the National Council, fundamental provisions contributing to this bias were annulled, sustaining Slovenia’s separation of church and state in practice.

Education and children’s rights

Government-funded schools offer a voluntary religious education, with no available secular or humanist alternative. Following a reorganisation of the primary school system, a Religion and Ethics course has been introduced into the curriculum. Faith and Culture is a taught course at four private Catholic High Schools.

Family, community and society

Though the influence of the Catholic Church has been said to be in decline, there remains significant scope for religious civil society groups to influence politics, even to remove the rights of others. A set of laws known as The Family Code gave homosexual partnerships the same legal standing as heterosexual partnerships and eased the path to adoption by same-sex couples. It was passed by parliament in 2011. However, Slovenian opponents of the Family Code — principally the Civil Initiative for Family and Children’s Rights which has broad Catholic support, succeeded in putting the law to referendum under the guise of a campaign for “supporting family values” and “protecting children’s rights”. A petition which gained over 42,000 signatures called for a referendum, which was therefore held, and was won by those ostensibly in favour of “family values”. The Family Code was repealed in 2012.

Expression, advocacy of humanist values

No organised restrictions on the expression of a humanist, secular or atheistic outlook are apparent.

Freedom House rates the press as “Free”, though it notes that an unusual “right of correction” and the use of “defamation” laws mean that public figures are able to threaten or respond to journalists and media outlets, even when the information they are responding to was true.
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