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.

In 2014, Migration Information Centre IOM in Bratislava and Košice provided 4 754 consultations to 2 265 clients from more than 90 countries. 174 employees from public administration from all parts of Slovakia were trained by IOM staff on migration issues and further 48 social workers and consular employees received training in the area of countering trafficking in human beings. In addition, IOM supported 57 migrants in their return back home from Slovakia and transferred another 270 refugees under the protection of UNHCR to the Slovak Republic which offered them a temporary shelter.

Read the summary of other IOM results of the last year in the field of integration of migrants in Slovakia, assisted voluntary returns and reintegration of migrants, counter-trafficking, humanitarian transfers of refugees and within the frame of coordination of the European Migration Network activities.

The citizens of Prešov, Žilina, Banská Bystrica and Košice experienced a unique day in April and May 2015. Migrants from various countries met in these cities and performed at the multicultural events “We Are at Home Here” organized by the IOM Migration Information Centre. It was an opportunity for locals to meet interesting people, discover experiences of migrants for whom Slovakia became a new home and get to know more about various cultures and gastronomy. These events were really multiCOOLtural!

International Organization for Migration (IOM) as the coordinator of activities of the European Migration Network (EMN) prepared Slovak versions of several EMN Informs which summarise the main findings of the EMN reports, studies and Ad-Hoc Queries: The Use of Detention and Alternatives to Detention in the Context of Immigration Policies; Good Practices in Return and Reintegration of Irregular Migrants: Member States’ Entry Bans Policy and Use of Readmission Agreements between Member States and Third Countries; Addressing Facilitation of Irregular Migration by Boats Departing from North Africa; Practical Approaches and Good Practices in Return and Reintegration to Afghanistan and Pakistan; Challenges and Good Practices in Return and Reintegration of Irregular Migrants to Western Africa, and Overview: Incentives to Return to a Third-Country and Support Provided to Migrants for their Reintegration. The Informs were prepared by the European Commission, their Slovak versions are available on the EMN web site.

IOM Migration Information Centre (MIC) and representatives of migrant communities in Slovakia joined the 10th anniversary of the multicultural festival [fjúžn] in Bratislava on 26 April 2015 and together they welcomed the visitors of Sunday Parade in Stará Tržnica. Six migrant communities introduced themselves at the IOM Café section with delicious gastronomy and a colourful multicultural puzzle of musical, dance and singing performances on the main stage.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) as the coordinator of the European Migration Network (EMN) National Contact Point for the Slovak Republic will prepare on behalf of the Slovak Republic the following five studies in 2015: Admitting third-country nationals for business purposes, Determining labour shortages and labour migration needs in the EU, Dissemination of information on voluntary return: how to reach irregular migrants not in contact with the authorities, Integration of beneficiaries of international protection and their social security, Mixed migration and changes of status and Annual Report on Migration and Asylum Policies 2014. See the EMN studies published until the year 2014.

The Glossary is designed for employees of state and public administration, policymakers, lawmakers, researchers, academics, journalists and other experts dealing with the topic of migration and asylum. The new edition of the Glossary contains more than 400 terms translated into 23 languages including Slovak.

The EMN study describes the institutional and legislative framework of care for unaccompanied minors in the Slovak Republic. It focuses on their entry, reception and integration measures for unaccompanied minors including accommodation, material support, access to legal aid, health care and education. Part of the study is the issue of disappearance and escape of unaccompanied minors from foster homes as well as description of existing measures after reaching 18 years of age and the topic of their return and reintegration.

National and foreign experts from Bratislava, Budapest, Dublin, Prague and Vienna delivered a speech at the conference on Protection and Care for Unaccompanied Children held on December 10, 2014 in Bratislava. The conference introduced service development and current model of care for unaccompanied minors, determination of the best interest of the child, individual risk assessment, age assessment and prevention of disappearance of unaccompanied minors.

In February 2015 IOM transferred 15 new refugees to Slovakia who will be temporarily accommodated in the Emergency Transit Centre (ETC) in Humenne. Families with children from Ethiopia and Somalia had to leave their homes because of threats of persecution and fear for their own lives. For a long time they were stranded in refugee camps without any hope of returning home. Resettlement to another country that will receive them and provide them with a new home is their only chance at life in safe conditions.