21 May 2008

The Erased

From January until June 2008, Slovenia holds the EU presidency. It’s an opportune time to spotlight the country’s own human rights record.

On the February 26, 1992, six months after Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia, the Ministry of the Interior erased 18,305 legal inhabitants from the Permanent Population Register. With a stroke of the pen, 18,305 individuals became stateless “residents without status,” unable to work legally, losing their drivers licenses, passports and other legal papers. Many were permanent residents of Slovenia who had emigrated elsewhere in Yugoslavia. Some were married to citizens or other residents and had raised families in the country. Suddenly thousands of breadwinners were unable to earn an income. Some were deported, some unable to leave the country — trapped in poverty and bureaucratic limbo. See some of their stories here.

Marc at Osocio sends word about a public, citywide campaign in Slovenia’s capital city Ljubljana to shine a light on The Erased and their ongoing plight. The design studio Poper has postered the town in partnership with Amnesty International Slovenia, the Peace Institute and the city government, rendering the stories of The Erased throughout the city. The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness of the issue, the State’s arbitrary response and blatant disregard of Constitutional Court rulings.

Listen to the last segment of this CBC podcast for more on the issue or read this FAQ on the campaign’s web site: http://www.izbrisan16let.si

The Erased, Billboard

The Erased, Sticker

Stories of The Erased

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