International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced today (20/01/2017) that over 1,000 refugees have been resettled since 2009 through Slovakia’s emergency transit facility to the USA, Canada and Norway. Resettlement of refugees through Slovakia is a joint activity of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Government of Slovakia and IOM.

On Tuesday (17/01), 23 refugees departed from Slovakia and arrived safely in the US on Wednesday (18/01), bringing the number of refugees resettled from Slovakia’s Emergency Transit Centre (ETC) in Humenne to other countries to 1,019, with 978 resettled in the United States.

IOM - Resettlement of Refugees - Over 1,000 refugees resettled since 2009 through Slovakia with the help of the IOM and its partners

 The photo is for illustrative purposes only / IOM Slovakia

UNHCR included the refugees in the program of Humanitarian transfer of refugees under the protection of UNHCR through Slovakia and IOM transferred them from Africa, Asia and Middle East to Slovakia. Between 2009 and January 2017, the Slovak Republic provided 1,043 refugees with temporary accommodation in the Emergency Transit Centre (ETC) in Humenne. Most were families with small children who are in need of urgent and immediate protection and can neither return to their home countries nor stay in the country of first asylum.

Refugees stay at the ETC for a maximum of 6 months, during which they prepare for resettlement in a secure environment by completing health assessments and attending pre-departure orientation courses. The ETC organizes various activities for the refugees – small children go to kindergarten and older children attend school, where they learn mathematics, geography and English. Parents can take part in literacy and computer courses or English language classes.

For more information on the Humanitarian transfer of refugees and persons of concern to UNHCR through Slovakia, please visit: https://iom.sk/en/activities/resettlement-of-refugees

For more information on 1,000 refugees resettled through Slovakia, please read a press release.

Follow the stories of refugees resettled through the Emergency Transit Centre in Humenne are available on IOM Slovakia’s website: Amin from Somalia, Rahima and Laimah from Afghanistan, Nadif from Somalia, Fereshteh from Afghanistan, Mahmoud from Somalia.

IOM’s activities under the project are funded by the United States through the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) or by similar programmes in other resettlement countries. IOM vaccination activities are funded by the US Department of State and US Department of Health and Human Services.