Hello, I am a young person residing in Slovenia. I would like to publish my story so that everyone can read it during the weekend.
Last month I wanted to go on a vacations for a few days and I decided to visit Croatia. My plan was to go on Thursday evening and stay there during the weekend. Indeed, I packed my luggage and together with my friends we sat in the car and drove off, excited about our trip together. But when we reached the border, the Croatian police stopped us – we had to pull to the side and they checked us like we were criminals. After spending some humiliating time at the border, they refused us entry into Croatia, without any reason given. The reason is of course clear, we are refugees. But we all have Slovenian passport that allow us to travel around the world. So they should let us go through.
I think one of the main causes of this discrimination comes from the stigma that our passports are bearing. Despite the fact that we got international protection and with that permission to live in Slovenia forever, our documents still contain the word “REFUGEE”. I don’t understand why this word is needed there. The passport could be simply without it. I feel like the Ministry of Interior put this word there on purpose, so that we can never get away from the stigma of being a refugee, even if we live here for many years. The word REFUGEE in our documents doesn’t give us problems just when crossing the border, but also when we are searching for a job, apartment or even when we are trying to open a bank account. We are refused at every step, when we are trying to live a normal life, like all other people residing in Slovenia, just because this word is stuck in our documents. Why do I have to stay a refugee, even when i have a permanent permition to live here and trying to build my life here? Why can’t I simply be a resident. Like other foreigners. But like this, we continually face discrimination on every step. So I am apealing to the Ministry of Intertior, to change the form of our documents that we obtain here. They talk all the time about integration, but how can we even imagine to participate in the society, if we have this stigma stamp with us all the time?
Thank you and everyone who contributed to spreading these words and a special thanks for managing the page.