(AP) – Slovenia’s lawmakers have backed overwhelmingly a controversial tightening of asylum procedures designed to avert a big influx of migrants into the country.
Parliament voted 47-18 on Thursday to approve amendments to the country’s existing asylum laws that could be invoked if there is a surge in asylum-seekers.
The changes would allow police officers to turn away people at the border or send back those who crossed illegally, but only for a limited period and in special circumstances.
Officials have insisted the measures are necessary, but human rights groups say they violate international laws.
Amnesty International has described the changes as a “serious backward step for human rights in Slovenia.”
Hundreds of thousands of migrants passed through Slovenia last year before countries in the Balkans closed their borders.