Poverty Watch Main Findings
Slovenia is one of the seven countries in the European Union where the at-risk-of-poverty rate increased in 2020 compared to 2019.
The Covid-19 pandemic deepened the already existing difficult situations of the most vulnerable groups of the population, and above all it showed the already existing systemic shortcomings.
The Covid-19 pandemic and preventive measures affected elderly due to limited access to services, deepening social exclusion of the elderly and the absence of regulated long-term care system.
The elderly are most vulnerable group exposed to poverty, especially women, working poor whose wages are below the subsistence level, the unemployed, young people and children from families, which live in poverty, single-member households and single-parent households with at least one dependent child(out of which 81.3% are maternal single-parent households).
The minimum income, set as a threshold (EUR 402.18) for the allocation of cash benefits, is significantly lower than the minimum wage (EUR 736 net) in order to encourage people to seek employment. A minimum wage that is close to the at-risk-of-poverty threshold (EUR 730) cannot enable a decent life, but rather creates working poor.
- The key problem is long-term dependence on social benefits and limited opportunities to exit poverty and difficult access to the labour market.
Social assistance is also received by employees, especially those with a minimum wage, who are in precarious forms of work and take care of children.
Humanitarian organisations in Slovenia point to a significant increase of aid recipients, especially those who have lost their jobs, precarious workers, workers with low-income, people who needed help during the economic crisis ten years ago and are now returning for help, while the distress and poverty among existing users deepened.
In the discussion groups participants talked about the absolute poverty – that is, the lack of basic goods, food and shelter to ensure basic subsistence. At the same time, they drew attention to the relative aspect of poverty, as it affects their entire life, thinking, well-being.
Non-governmental organisations respond to the needs of marginalized groups of individuals, significantly complement the social protection system, especially through the implementation of social protection programs and humanitarian activities, which includes psychosocial support – support to people, providing material assistance in the form of food, used clothes and objects, financial humanitarian aid and paid few days of holidays for children and/or families.
Tina Divjak & Mojca Frelih
1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)
Tel: +386 1 234 77 20
E-mail: tina.divjak ( @ ) cnvos.si / Mojca.Frelih ( @ ) mirovni-institut.si