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Due to a delay in Slovenia’s implementation of the EU equality directives, the Slovenian national equality body, the Advocate of the Principle of Equality, was only established in 2016. In the meantime, there was a persistent lack of data on discrimination in Slovenia.
The only accessible data on discrimination in Slovenia came from Eurobarometer surveys, which showed a gradual increase in discrimination throughout the years. Whereas in 2009 around 16% of respondents felt targeted by discrimination, in 2015 this figure increased to 21%. There were no comprehensive and comparable Slovenia-specific data on the different grounds of discrimination across different areas of life before this survey.
The survey on the perceptions and experiences of discrimination in Slovenia was one of the very first substantial activities carried out by newly-established office of the Advocate of the Principle of Equality. The Advocate of the Principle of Equality first had to examine the current situation on discrimination in Slovenia. The survey results allowed the Advocate to set priorities for its operations and assess current needs with respect to the prevention of discrimination and the promotion of equality in the country. Only then could it adequately address these needs and initiate targeted awareness-raising campaigns on equality and non-discrimination.
This national survey established the first evidence base on discrimination in Slovenian society.
At the end of 2017, the Advocate of the Principle of Equality conducted a survey on discrimination in Slovenia. The survey consists of two parts: a ‘public opinion poll’ gauging perceptions of discrimination among the general population; and a second section capturing the experiences of discrimination among the public.
The survey was carried out by the Institute for Market Research and Media, Mediana. The sample frame was the population of the Republic of Slovenia aged between 15 to 75 years. A sample of 1011 people were surveyed. The sample is representative of the Slovenian population by gender, age, region and level of education. Researchers collected data in the second half of October and early November 2017. The perceptions section of the survey included a range of questions addressed to the general population that capture their understanding of discrimination, awareness of anti-discrimination measures, and perception of the prevalence of discrimination. This included the identity of the victims and perpetrators of discrimination.
In the experiences section of the survey, respondents are asked to indicate whether they have been the target of discrimination in the past 12 months. Respondents were also given the opportunity to report the areas in which they experienced discriminatory treatment and the ground of discrimination. In addition, the survey asked whether and to whom alleged victims of discrimination reported the incident. They were also asked their reasons for not reporting.
During the drafting process of the survey questionnaire researchers held non-formal consultations with representatives of civil society organisations. A survey on discrimination in Croatia carried out by the Ombudsman of the Republic of Croatia served as best practice during the design of the questionnaire. The survey spans the discrimination grounds of gender, nationality, racial or ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, social status, property status, education, or any other personal circumstance. The areas of life covered by the survey are employment; career and working conditions; membership and inclusion in workers’ or employers’ organisations; social protection, including social security and healthcare; social benefits; education; and access to goods and services available to the public, including housing.
The Advocate of the Principle of Equality / Zagovornik načela enakosti
Email: nevenka (dot) preslenkova (at) zagovornik-rs (dot) si