In 2019, the IOM Migration Information Centre provided 6,198 clients with 10,398 consultations about important areas of life in Slovakia. Another 108 foreigners benefited from the IOM assistance with their voluntary return to 24 countries of origin. IOM lecturers trained another 87 professionals in the field of human trafficking prevention.
Migrant Integration – IOM Migration Information Centre (MIC)
In 2019, the IOM Migration Information Centre in Bratislava and Košice provided 10,398 personal, telephone or e-mail consultations on residence, family, employment, business, education or citizenship in the Slovak Republic.
A total of 6,191 beneficiaries used the MIC free services, mostly from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Serbia, India, Iran and the USA.
The MIC website www.mic.iom.sk is a unique source of legislative and practical information for foreigners about important areas of life in Slovakia. Information is available in the Slovak, English and Russian language. In 2019, the MIC website recorded 325,706 visits.
In 2019, the services of the Visa Check web application were used by 4,270 beneficiaries from 147 countries. This MIC application offers information to foreigners from any country of the world who plan to come to Slovakia and who need to check whether they need visa in order to enter the country and what kind of residence permit is required if they want to study, work or do business in Slovakia.
The Centre also supports foreigners in their integration into the labour market in Slovakia. 627 beneficiaries received support with orientation in the labour market, with preparation of their CV and job interview, communication with employers, with job search or job referral. With the financial support of the MIC, another 47 beneficiaries completed retraining courses, which will increase their chances to get a job in the Slovak labour market.
In 2019, the MIC held three One-Stop Shop Counselling Days which took place at the Foreign Police Department in Bratislava. More than 82 visitors from 30 countries benefited from these one-stop counselling sessions with the direct involvement of representatives of state and public institutions such as the Foreign Police Department, Labour Office, Trade Licencing Office and MIC consultants.
The MIC staff continued to provide expert consultations during trainings for consular officers who were appointed to work at the embassies of the Slovak Republic abroad. These trainings took place at the training centre of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.
In 2019, the Centre also provided counselling to unaccompanied migrant children (UMC) in the Centre for Children and Families “PALM” in Medzilaborce. The MIC services included Slovak language courses and provision of individual legal advice for UMC.
In 2019, the MIC continued to organise free Open Slovak Language Courses for Foreigners, which were attended by a total of 2,417 people in Bratislava, Košice, Sereď and Nové Zámky. The courses of socio-cultural orientation helping foreigners to orientate in important areas of life in Slovakia were attended by 198 participants.
In 2019, the MIC updated the Welcome to Slovakia brochure. It is available in Slovak, English and Russian and it contains a basic overview of the residence and employment of third-country nationals, information about the education system, health care, social security and other important areas of life in Slovakia.
The MIC also updated 16 Fact Sheets on residence of foreigners in Slovakia on the procedure for applying for residence and on the obligations arising from individual types of temporary and permanent residence of foreigners in Slovakia.
The MIC cooperates with 13 cultural mediators – representatives of associations and communities of foreigners in Slovakia. In 2019 the Centre together with mediators organized 16 Welcoming Slovakia information meetings for more than 447 participants. At the meetings, foreigners get practical and useful information about life in Slovakia.
In 2019, the MIC organized three more regional information workshops We Are Also At Home Here. Two were held in March in Prešov and Martin, and one was held in December in Bratislava. Visitors of these workshops had a chance to view films, discuss with foreigners, view a photo exhibition or taste Asian gastronomic specialty in order to learn more about life and culture of foreigners living in Slovakia.
In December 2019 in Bratislava, the MIC prepared another We Are Also At Home Here event for the public with a screening of the film The Stranger in Paradise, which was part of the 4th Global Migration Film Festival in Slovakia. The screening of this powerful story of hope and disappointment on journey to Europe was followed by a discussion with interesting guests from Nepal, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
The MIC is the counselling centre of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Since 2006, it has been providing foreigners with services helping them with social, economic and cultural integration in Slovakia. It provides a comprehensive integration, social and vocational counselling to foreigners, promotes their inclusion into the labour market, organizes Open Slovak Language Courses and courses of social and cultural orientation, provides them with important information about life in Slovakia, and supports the community life of foreigners.
For more information visit: www.mic.iom.sk.
Migration Information Centre to Support Integration of Migrants in Slovakia (phase IX, Individual Project). This project is co-funded by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Home Affairs Funds.
Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegrations
In 2019 IOM assisted a total of 108 individuals with their voluntary return from Slovakia to 24 countries of origin.
Most returnees headed to Serbia (30), Ukraine (25), Iran (15), Iraq (9) and Turkey (5).
IOM provided reintegration assistance to cover basic needs and provide livelihoods after returning home to 41 individuals and families in 15 countries – Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam. For the first time, IOM supported the reintegration of migrants following their return to Mongolia. In particular, migrants used the assistance to arrange temporary accommodation, to reconstruct their houses, to set up small business activities or to combine several types of assistance.
Read more: Statistics of AVRR programme since 2004.
Within the framework of the Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegrations Programme (AVRR), IOM helps foreigners who are not allowed to reside in Slovakia and who cannot or do not want to stay here.
As a part of the AVRR programme, migrants can benefit from various services provided by IOM: counselling and preparation of return, assistance with arranging of travel documents, provision of travel tickets, temporary accommodation, food, clothing and healthcare until the date of departure. During the return procedure, IOM assists foreigners with transportation in Slovakia, at the airport during departure and during transfers and, if necessary, with transportation following return home.
An important part of the programme is reintegration assistance provided to migrants, which they can use to stabilize their situation and improve their living conditions after returning home.
For more information visit: www.avr.iom.sk.
Voluntary Return and Reintegration in Country of Origin (Individual Project). The project is co-funded by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Home Affairs Funds.
In 2019, IOM operated its information phone line on trafficking in human beings and safe travel. Its staff responded to inquires via phone and emails from people interested in issues concerning trafficking in human beings and requests for verification of job agencies. In one case, IOM staff identified a suspision on human trafficking, which were further referred to the Information Centre for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and for Crime Prevention of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic.
IOM assisted one victim of human trafficking in returning to Slovakia. The victim was further referred to the Slovak Catholic Charity, which operates a reintegration assistance programme for victims of trafficking.
In March 2019, in Košice and Piešťany, IOM trained another 87 professional practicioners who are working with vulnerable groups of population.
As a result, trained professionals are able to teach both individuals and groups how to recognize the risks of human trafficking, how to avoid them and what to do in a crisis situation. This training programme enhanced the knowledge and skills of participants with new educational methods about trafficking in human beings and how to make learning interesting with interactive activities and employing the mobile application SAFE Travel & Work Abroad.
In 2019, IOM has released an updated Training Manual on Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings. In addition, IOM extended the mobile application SAFE by two additional language versions. The application is thus available for free on the Google Play, on the App Store, and at www.safe.iom.sk in seven languages: Slovak, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian and Polish..
IOM in Slovakia conducts various prevention activities and information campaigns on trafficking in human beings, educates and builds the capacities of government experts and helping organizations in the field of prevention, identification of victims and care for victims of trafficking in human beings. IOM also prepares information and educational materials for teachers, lecturers, preventionists and other professionals.
For more information visit:
In 2019, IOM‘s educational activities in the field of preventing human trafficking and publishing of an update of the Training Manual on Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings within the project „Capacity Building of Experts Working With Vulnerable, Socially Disadvantaged Groups in the Field of prevetion of trafficking in human beings“ was financially supported by the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic, which acts as a coordinating body for comprehensive care provided to victims of trafficking.
Activities of the European Migration Network (EMN)
In 2019, EMN published Annual Report on Migration and Asylum in the Slovak Republic in 2018 and prepared the outputs on behalf of the Slovak Republic published in the following EMN Synthesis Reports:
- Labour Market Integration of Third-Country Nationals in EU Member States
- Impact of Visa Liberalisation on Countries of Destination
- Attracting and Retaining International Students in the EU
- Beneficiaries of International Protection Travelling to their Country of Origin
- Migratory Pathways for Start-Ups and Innovative Entrepreneurs in the European Union
In 2019, EMN was also working on other studies that are planned to be published as synthesis reports in 2020:
- Comparative overview of national protection statuses in the EU and Norway
- Pathways to citizenship for third-country nationals in the EU
From January to December 2019 EMN organised seven expert meetings and events including the 7th EMN Educational Seminar on Migration.
Experts from 10 countries lectured during the seminar about the impacts and opportunities of international migration for more than 70 representatives from state and public administration.
The seminar agenda contained also two evening events for the public. The first one was screening of the documentary film The Good Postman about the election for mayor of an almost deserted Bulgarian village on the Turkish border. The second event was a play Home (Where is Yours?) by Nová Scéna Theatre, followed by a discussion with experts on how to talk about migration in an accurate and balanced way.
In 2019, EMN in Slovakia responded to 68 Ad-Hoc Queries and launched four Ad Hoc Queries to other Member States. Through the European EMN Ad-Hoc Queries system the EU Member States and Norway exchange information needed for the policy-making or drafting legislation and strategic documents in the field of migration and asylum.
European Migration Network – EMN organises working meetings and expert events, prepares responses to ad hoc queries and elaborates publications by which it provides up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information on migration and international protection to European Union, its Member States and public. The EMN has its National Contact Point in each EU Member State and Norway. Activities of the EMN in the Slovak Republic are coordinated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
For more information visit: www.emn.sk.
EMN activities in Slovakia are funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and co-funded by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.