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12. 6. 2017

Minister Erjavec meets representatives of human rights NGOs

Ljubljana, 12 June 2017 – Today, Minister Erjavec met with representatives of Slovenian NGOs working in the field of human rights, including at the international level. The meeting was part of the regular dialogue between the Ministry and human rights non-governmental organisations.

The cooperation with NGOs is an important and welcome element of Slovenia's foreign policy engagement and a contribution to transferring international principles and standards into the Slovenian context, said the Minister.

He presented Slovenia's activities in the past year in the field of human rights, which is among Slovenia's foreign policy priorities. In this respect, he particularly emphasised Slovenia's engagement in the UN Human Rights Council as a full members since 2016 and a candidate for presidency in the 2018. The Minister informed the NGO representatives that Slovenia's voluntary mid-term report on the implementation of the Universal Period Review recommendations will be presented at the UN HRC June session.

Touching on the priorities, Minister Erjavec specifically mentioned children's rights and various events organised by the Ministry to raise awareness on the rights of child refugees. The MFA continued the on-going activities on human rights education and successfully cooperated with NGOs through the Our Rights project. In the past year, Slovenia devoted close attention to women’s empowerment and gender equality, and actively promoted the rights of older persons, advocating the adoption of an internationally binding instrument.

At the international level, Slovenia has championed equal rights and the elimination of discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons, said Minister Erjavec, also noting the importance of protecting human rights in the context of climate change.

The meeting was attended by representatives of 24 NGOs, who presented their activities and initiatives, including support for socially disadvantaged groups, children, youth and the elderly, as well as persons with mental disorders and migrants. They also described their involvement in women’s empowerment and LGBT rights awareness raising, along with efforts to increase corporate social responsibility and implement the sustainable development goals.

NGO representatives assessed the cooperation with the Ministry as positive and welcomed Slovenia's human rights engagement internationally. Views were also exchanged on topical issues, with a particular emphasis on due consideration of human rights in Slovenia in accordance with international principles and standards. The NGO representatives expressed readiness to upgrade the active cooperation with the Ministry in future.

Minister Erjavec thanked them for their collaboration and spoke in favour of continuing the open dialogue and further building of fruitful cooperation.