In September 2015 the Slovak Republic provided a temporary shelter on its territory to 66 Somali refugees from Eritrea. IOM transferred the refugees to Slovakia where they are temporarily accommodated in the Emergency Transit Centre (ETC) in Humenne. The families were forced to flee their home country due to ongoing conflicts and fear for their own lives. Because many of them were stranded for years in refugee camps without hope of returning home, they were provided international protection and later chosen for resettlement to a third country. After years of uncertainty such a solution enables them to start their lives again in safe conditions.

More than 60 employees of public administration and representatives of academia, non-profit sector, media and foreign embassies took part in the educational seminar entitled Irregular Migration – Borders and Human Rights organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as the coordinator of the European Migration Network (EMN) National Contact Point for the Slovak Republic in Bratislava on 25 – 27 August 2015.

Check out the brand new issue of the IOM Slovakia Newsletter 01/2015 with invitations to interesting events and news about achievements of IOM. If you wish to receive the IOM Slovakia Newsletter directly to your e-mail, you can subscribe here: https://iom.sk/en/publications/subscribe-to-iom-slovakia-newsletter.html.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing's message for World Humanitarian Day (19 August): "Picture a scene at International Aid Headquarters in Erbil Iraq: A family has been waiting for hours in the hot sun. They need some basic information about the “who, when where” of an aid distribution…but communication has broken down, because the guard is unable to help.  He doesn’t know how to engage upward to his superiors to find an answer, nor directly to the needy—and that is how missions fail to meet their goals."

CRISIS SITUATIONS ARE LABORATORIES FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKERS, says Ambassador William Lacy Swing, the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

"When disaster strikes, the humanitarian community rushes to respond. We mobilize resources, activate response mechanisms, send doctors, search and rescue teams, logisticians, counsellors, engineers, equipment, tarpaulins, food, medicine and water. All the paraphernalia of an emergency response, swings into action, to conflict zones, natural calamities, or man-made disasters."

Geneva, July 30, 2015 – Citing a new study, “Addressing Human Trafficking and Exploitation in Times of Crisis”, International Organization for Migration Director General William Lacy Swing called the exploitation and trafficking of victims, a growing phenomenon in a world awash in conflict and natural disasters.  

“Trafficking in persons not only flourishes during a disaster, it is a direct result of disasters, every bit as much as the infrastructural damages, the loss of life or the food shortages which garner far more attention,” said Ambassador Swing.

From 2010 until May 2015, International Organization for Migration (IOM) delivered 24 trainings and 17 workshops for experts from the Slovak public administration institutions which provide services to third country nationals. More than 500 participants gained skills in intercultural communication and knowledge in the field of migration and migrant integration in Slovakia. The aim of the capacity building is to help improve the services for the migrants from non-EU countries as well as the cooperation of participating institutions. The participants of ten of the workshops were involved in the Information Days for Migrants. Migrants from 22 non-EU countries took advantage of this free counselling at one place. More information on the project and its results.

The Report provides information on development in legislation and policies in the field of migration and asylum, legal migration and mobility, international protection including asylum, unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable groups as well as irregular migration and smuggling in the Slovak Republic in 2014. Besides, it analyses the measures in countering human trafficking, migration and its impact on the development of countries and returns of third country nationals. Part of the report is a statistical overview of legal and irregular migration as well as unaccompanied minors. The Annual Report is available in Slovak and English language.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to build capacities of employees of Slovak embassies and consular offices abroad who considerably help to identify victims of human trafficking and to provide assistance. As part of the pre-departure phase of the Slovak staff, IOM trained another 13 consular officers in May 2015. The trainings were conducted in cooperation with  the Information Centre for Counter-trafficking in Human Beings and Prevention of Criminality of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic. More information on IOM educational activities in the area of Counter-Trafficking in Human Beings is available here.

From January until the end of May 2015 IOM, together with its partners, gradually transferred 130 refugees of Somali and Ethiopian nationality from the Emergency Transit Centre (ETC) in Humenne to the country of their final resettlement – USA. During their 6-month-stay in ETC the refugees had security interviews, medical examinations and courses of cultural orientation that helped them prepare for life in their new home.