In 2016 the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted a Protection Against Discrimination Act (PADA) which established the Advocate of the Principle of Equality, an independent and autonomous state body mandated to deal with discrimination.
In accordance with Article 21 of the Protection Against Discrimination Act, our tasks are the following:
- conducting independent research on the position of people with certain personal circumstances, particularly gender, nationality, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation and other issues regarding discrimination of people with certain personal circumstances;
- publishing independent reports and making recommendations to state authorities, local communities, holders of public authorisations, employers, business entities and other bodies regarding the established situation of people in certain personal circumstances, i.e. relating to preventing or eliminating discrimination and adopting special and other measures to eliminate discrimination;
- conducting tasks of supervisory inspection on the basis of complaints in Chapter 5 of this Act regarding the observance of the provisions of this or other acts determining the Advocate’s competence;
- providing independent assistance to persons subject to discrimination when enforcing their rights regarding protection against discrimination in the form of counselling and legal assistance for clients in other administrative and judicial proceedings related to discrimination;
- raising the awareness of the general public on discrimination and measures to prevent it;
- monitoring the general situation in the Republic of Slovenia in the field of protection against discrimination and the situation of people in certain personal circumstances;
- proposing the adoption of special measures to improve the situation of people who are in a less favourable position due to certain personal circumstances;
- participating in judicial proceedings involving discrimination as per this Act;
- ensuring the exchange of available information on discrimination with bodies of the European Union;
- conducting other tasks determined by this Act.
The competences of the Advocate of the Principle of Equality extend to both public and private sector.
Miha Lobnik, Advocate of the Principle of Equality
Miha Lobnik is the first head of the Slovenian independent equality body. He was appointed by the National Assembly as the Advocate of the Principle of Equality on 26th of October 2016 for a mandate of five years.
Miha Lobnik gained a BA in Sociology and was already socially active during his studies. Later, he acted as a consultant in the field of Student Social Policy, and for the last few years, he performed the work of a Programme Director at the Legebitra Information Centre. Relating to his international experience, he worked as an Assistant Director for Eastern Europe and cooperated with the Council of Europe within the framework of ILGA in Brussels.