In 2014, IOM Migration Information Centre in Bratislava and Košice provided 3,568 consultations to 2,296 clients. IOM staff identified 29 victims of human trafficking and assisted with the safe return of 19 of them to their country of origin. Apart from this, IOM assisted 92 migrants who had decided to voluntary return to their home country from Slovakia; and these migrants returned to 15 various countries. 17 of them were provided with further assistance to ensure their basic needs after return. In addition, IOM arranged humanitarian transfer of 98 refugees from refugee camps to the Slovak Republic, which provided them with a temporary shelter on its territory. After completion of all preparatory steps the refugees will be resettled from Slovakia to countries which provide them with a new home.
You can read a summary of IOM results in the key areas of its activities for 2015.
IOM Migration Information Centre (MIC)
MIC with its branches in Bratislava and Košice is the first and unique information centre in Slovakia that provides comprehensive services to foreigners in Slovakia at one place. MIC services include legal, social and vocational counselling, retraining and further education, inclusion in the labour market and support of community life of migrants.
In 2015, the centre provided overall 3,568 e-mail, telephone or personal consultation to a total of 2,296 individual clients from more than 100 countries. The top countries of origin among MIC clients were Ukraine, Russia, USA, Serbia, India and South Korea. Further 107 clients benefited from assistance and counselling during the field work in 2015 from MIC consultants in cooperation with cultural mediators.
In 2015 MIC in Bratislava and Košice organized a series of 8 specialized counselling days for foreigners called “One-Stop Shop”. Foreigners were able to benefit from comprehensive services provided at one location by the MIC legal consultants, employees of the foreign police department, labour offices, trades licensing offices and health insurance companies. One Stop Shop services were provided to 138 migrants from more than 30 countries.
The important legislative and practical information from the main areas of foreigners’ life in Slovakia on the website www.mic.iom.sk was visited by 63,839 visitors; the site recorded 91,188 visits and 231,860 views.
MIC provided labour and social counselling to 344 clients through 1,009 consultations in order to help foreigners to navigate on the labour market, as well provided assistance with job search, with the preparation of CV and cover letter, with communication with the prospective employer, with preparing clients for a job interview, with contacting the authorities and also with the process of arranging social security benefits. MIC provided further financial support for retraining courses for 100 migrants in order to enhance their effective integration into the Slovak labour market.
MIC continued to provide the Open Slovak Language Courses in 2015. The Slovak courses were attended by 1,141 participants in Bratislava and Košice and the courses of social and cultural orientation by 108 participants.
MIC continued its cooperation with the network of cultural mediators and migrant communities. In 2014 cultural mediators in cooperation with MIC organized 25 multicultural information meetings – various social, cultural and sporting events presenting their culture and promoting social life of the community. The meetings were attended by more than 2,400 people.
In addition, the MIC organized four multicultural events We Are At Home Here in Prešov, Žilina, Banská Bystrica and Košice with an open discussion with foreigners living in Slovakia, an exhibition of photographs from Afghanistan, food tasting from all over the world, film about the life of foreigners in Slovakia, music and dance performances from Cuba and Africa. These events helped to promote community life of migrants, awareness of different cultures and mutual understanding of the majority and migrants in different regions of Slovakia. The events were attended by more than 600 persons.
More information: www.mic.iom.sk.
Migration Information Centre to Support Integration of Migrants in Slovakia (phase VII) – Individual project. The project was co-funded by the European Union from the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows.
In 2015, provision of the comprehensive services of the IOM Migration Information Centre was co-funded by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.
Enhancing Intercultural Competencies and Regional Cooperation of Experts Working with Migrants in the Slovak Republic
In 2015 IOM continued with its activities in capacity building of public sector employees from offices providing services to third country nationals in all regions of Slovakia.
In March 2015 IOM organized two trainings for 38 representatives of the foreign police, labour and district offices, municipalities and offices of self-governing regions, health insurance company, Centre for Legal Aid, labour inspectorates and bigger companies employing foreigners.
Following workshops in Banská Bystrica and Trnava were attended by 20 public sector employees from offices providing services to third country nationals in all regions of Slovakia. The participants gained skills in intercultural communication and knowledge in the field of migration and migrant integration that can be used in their work with migrants in Slovakia as well as in strengthening their mutual cooperation.
From 2010 until May 2015, more than 510 professionals from all around Slovakia attended this training programme. In May 2015 at the final project meeting IOM presented the recommendations from the trainings and workshops to the leading representatives of the participating institutions, with the focus on improving the quality of services provided to migrants.
Enhancing Intercultural Competencies and Regional Cooperation of Experts Working with Migrants in the Slovak Republic. The project was co-funded by the European Union from the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows.
Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegrations
In year 2015 IOM realized 92 assisted voluntary returns of migrants to 15 countries of origin. Most of them returned to Serbia – Kosovo (55) and to Iraq (15). IOM assisted them with acquiring temporary travel documents, provided food, travel tickets, departure and transit assistance at the airport and if needed also the transfer to their place of residence.
The total number of migrants returning voluntarily from Slovakia with IOM since 2004 increased to 1,258. In the period 2004-2015 IOM organized returns to 61 countries, in 2015 for the first time to the Philippines, Palestine, Somalia or Sudan.
Read also: AVRR statistics since 2004.
Since 2007 IOM has been providing the returnees also with the reintegration assistance , in order to ensure their basic needs upon their return. In 2015 IOM provided reintegration assistance to 17 individuals or whole families worth of 31,275.53 euro in Georgia, India, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Mexico, Moldavia and Vietnam. The returnees used the assistance mainly to start small businesses that would generate income for them and their families as well as for material assistance to improve their living conditions.
Since 2007 IOM provided reintegration upon return to 184 individuals or whole families in 25 countries all over the world. They were awarded reintegration assistance in total amount of more than 280,000 euro.
More information: www.avr.iom.sk.
Voluntary Return and Reintegration in Country of Origin (Individual Project).The project was co-funded by the European Union from the European Return Fund. Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows.
Counter–Trafficking in Human Beings
In 2015 IOM identified 21 victims of trafficking in human beings. Out of this number 19 victims were Slovak citizens and 2 were third-country nationals. Among the identified victims there were twice as many men (14) as women (7). According to IOM data, 81 % of the victims were trafficked in Great Britain. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of all identified cases were victims of forced labour. Altogether IOM provided 19 persons with return assistance to their country of origin, from which 17 decided to enter the national Programme of Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking.
Regarding the education and capacity building activities, in 2015 IOM trained 22 consuls of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in cooperation with the Information Centre for Combating Human Trafficking and Crime Prevention of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic in order to strengthen the comprehensive care provided to the victims of trafficking.
In March 2015 IOM trained 19 field social workers from 12 different districts of the Košice region to raise the awareness about human trafficking in vulnerable marginalized communities.
In October and November 2015, IOM held 6 trainings for 111 professionals from Slovakia – workers of Centres of Pedagogical-psychological Counselling and Prevention, children's homes, re-education and low-threshold facilities, and field social workers. Trained professionals can inform young people about the threat of human trafficking, advise them on safe travelling and elimination of the risks connected with working abroad.
At the end of January 2015, IOM finished an information campaign Don’t Become a Slave! that was focused on help to the victims of human trafficking. In cooperation with the organization La Strada Poland and La Strada Czech Republic, the campaign was running in the regions from which most of identified victims of trafficking come. In Slovakia the campaign took place in the cities of Košice region throughposters which promoted national helpline 0800 800 818 intended for everyone who can become or already has become the victim of human trafficking and for everyone who is thinking about working abroad.
In 2015 IOM Bratislava realized the Return and Reintegration Programme for Trafficked Persons as part of the national Programme of Support and Protection for Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings, which was financed by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.
Capacity building of experts in the field of prevention of human trafficking in 2015 was funded by the Ministry of Interior of the SR.
In 2015 the education of field social workers in the area of prevention against trafficking in human beings was financed by the British Embassy in Bratislava.
The project Counter-trafficking Hotlines Campaign in the Slovak, Czech and Polish Vulnerable regions was financially supported by the International Visegrad Fund. The campaign was realized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in cooperation with the organizations La Strada in the Czech Republic and Poland.
European Migration Network (EMN) activities
European Migration Network (EMN) prepares studies and Ad-Hoc Queries and organizes working meetings and expert events through which it provides the European Union, its Member States and public with the latest, objective, reliable and comparable information about migration and international protection. In each EU Member State and Norway, there is an EMN National Contact Point (NCP). The EMN National Contact Point for the Slovak Republic is coordinated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In 2015, EMN in Slovakia responded on behalf of the Slovak Republic to 105 Ad-Hoc Queries. This European system enables the EU Member States to exchange information which is necessary for the preparation of policies, legislation and strategic documents.
Apart from this, in 2015 Slovak EMN NCP contributed to the update of the EMN Glossary, published the Annual Report on Migration and Asylum Policies in 2014 and prepared five studies: Admitting third-country nationals for business purposes to the Slovak Republic; Determining labour shortages and the need for labour migration in the Slovak Republic from third countries; Integration of beneficiaries of international protection to the labour market of the Slovak Republic; Dissemination of information on voluntary return: How to reach irregular migrants not in contact with the authorities; and Changes in immigration status and purposes of stay in the Slovak Republic.
From January to December 2015, the EMN organised 17 working and presentation meetings and expert seminars including a conference on Integration programmes for beneficiaries of international protection which was prepared in collaboration with the Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic, educational seminar Irregular migration – borders and human rights with a discussion evening Europe or die?, and the Slovak premiere of The Good Lie film.
More information: www.emn.sk.
European Migration Network (EMN) National Contact Point for the Slovak Republic:
Humanitarian Transfer of Refugees
In 2015 the Slovak Republic provided a temporary shelter to another 98 refugees under the protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Most of these refugees were Somali families with children, there were also some refugees from Ethiopia and Sudan. All of them were forced to flee their homes due to conflicts and unrest in their countries. They could not return home and resettlement to a third country gave them a chance to start again in a safe environment.
IOM transferred the refugees to Slovakia and for 6 months they were accommodated in the Emergency Transit Centre (ETC) in Humenné. The Centre was opened in 2009 to provide temporary protection to the most vulnerable refugees. During their limited stay in the Centre the refugees go through interviews, medical examinations and cultural orientation courses preparing them for life in new country. Afterwards they are transferred from Slovakia to the country of their final resettlement.
In 2015 IOM, in cooperation with its partners, resettled 146 refugees from the Centre. They had arrived to Humenné in 2014 or 2015 and all of them were admitted by the United States of America. Most of them were Somali families with children.
Refugees are resettled based on the trilateral treaty between the Slovak Government, UNHCR and IOM. IOM is responsible for the transportation of refugees to the Slovak Republic and from the Slovak Republic to the country of resettlement. Moreover, IOM provides services related to security interviews, health assessment of refugees and vaccinations, and courses of cultural orientation.
IOM has been cooperating on the project of resettlement with the Slovak Government and UNHCR since August 2009. Since that time 797 refugees were transferred through ETC Humenné.