Country Information Slovenia
at a glance
civilization and culture
AT A GLANCE
20 273 square kilometres
2,01 million (July 2009)
Ljubljana (278 638 inhabitants 2007)
Slovene (other languages: Serbocroatian 4,5 % and others)
Gross national product per capita
US$ 29 500 (2008) (PPP)
76,9 years (men: 73,3 years, women: 80,8 years) (2009)
4.3 per 1000 live births (2009)
Rate of illiteracy
0 % (2007)
Tourism is an important branch of the economy of Slovenia. Major attractions are the Alps (skiing is the national sport), the Adriatic coast, and the medival city of Ljubljana. There are also other very popular attractions such as the Adelsberg grottoes. The successful marketing of the tourist industry has meant that the receipts it generates now account for 9% of the gross national product. According to UNWTO in the year 2005 approximately 1,6 million guests came into the country and paid 1,5 billion Euro.
Commercial sexual exploitation of children in tourism
Slovenia is a transit country but also a source country for traffickers who bring women and children for sexual exploitation to western Europe, in particular to Austria. It does not play a significant role as a destination for paedo-sexual perpetrators.
Slovenians who sexually abuse of children in foreign countries can be tried and convicted in Slovenia when they return home. The sexual abuse of children is punished with prison sentences of between three and ten years. Slovenia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in June 1991.
HIV / AIDS
According to estimates from UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, at the end of 2007 less than 500 people in Slovenia were infected with HIV. How many children and women were infected, could not be estimated. In the same year less than 200 Slovenians died following infection with HIV.
South East European Child Rights Action Network
1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Phone: +386 1 438 5250
Fax: +386 1 432 3383
CIVILIZATION AND CULTURE
The Slovenes settled the region in the 6th century AD. A hundred years later the area was made part of Charlemagne's empire. In the following centuries the area of current-day Slovenia belonged to Austria, interrupted only by a period of Napoleonic rule, until the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in 1918. It became a republic of Yugoslavia in 1948.
After a referendum, Slovenia declared its independence in 1991, and this was internationally recognised a year later. In 2004 Slovenia became a member state of the European Union.
State and society
Under the constitution of 1991, the Republic of Slovenia is a democratic state, with a President with a mainly representative function, who is also head of the armed forces. Since 2002, the President has been Janez Drnovsek.
The Slovenian parliament consists of a National Council and a National Assembly. In the current government coalition the Liberal-Democrats are the strongest party, and the prime minister is Anton Rop.
In contrast to other former republics of Yugoslavia, Slovenia has a very homogeneous population structure; some 88% are Slovenes. Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims each account for some 2% of the population. Traditionally, three-quarters of the population are affiliated to the Roman Catholic church, with less than 2% each for Orthodox Christians, Protestants, and Muslims. There is a strict separation between Church and state in Slovenia, and no religious instruction is given at public schools.
In former Yugoslavia, the Slovenes were already held up as models for others because of their economic success. They were regarded as being hard-working, dedicated, and industrious, which earned them the nickname of the "Prussians of the Balkans" - with both positive and also negative connotations.
Culturally, the Slovenes look towards Western Europe. As a transit area, however, their country was a meeting place for various influences and interests. In addition to their art and culture the Slovenes are particularly proud of their sporting tradition. Slovenian athletes regularly excel, in particular in winter sports, and Slovenia has had participants in virtually every Olympic Games throughout the 20th century.
Slovenia is very successful in comparison with other transitional economies. The per capita gross national product is comparable with Greece and Portugal. Since the mid-1990s, Slovenia has worked to compensate for the loss of East European markets and has managed to stabilise the economy, which is now growing steadily.