Since the start of the war in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the MIC has provided its counselling services to a total of 12,163 people. Read all the results for 2022 in the key programmes and main areas of activity of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Slovakia.
- IOM’s Migration Information Centre and support for the integration of foreigners in Slovakia;
- IOM’s educational materials on migration from the We Are at Home Here Programme;
- Assisting migrants in their voluntary return from Slovakia to their country of origin in the Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegration Programme;
- Activities to combat trafficking in human beings and to promote the protection of migrants;
- Coordination of the activities of the European Migration Network in Slovakia;
- Assistance to people affected by the war in Ukraine.
The IOM’s key programme in the field of integration of migrants in Slovakia is the Migration Information Centre (MIC), which accompanies citizens of other countries arriving in Slovakia from their first steps in their new country. It provides them with Slovak language courses, supports them in obtaining an education and improving qualifications or retraining, provides free legal and social counselling and job counselling, including job search assistance and organises social and cultural orientation courses with information on various aspects of life in Slovakia. The MIC has been supporting the community life of foreigners in Slovakia for more than 16 years.
Counselling for foreigners in Slovakia
In 2022, the MIC provided 21,327 consultations in Bratislava and Košice in person, by phone or by email on residence, family, employment, business, education or citizenship in Slovakia. The number of consultations increased by over 44% year-on-year.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the MIC has provided its counselling services to a total of 12,163 people. As a result of the war, one in two MIC clients was from Ukraine.
The MIC supports foreigners in their integration into the labour market in Slovakia, and 2,040 clients have benefited from assistance in orientation on the labour market, preparation of CVs, preparation for interviews, communication with employers and searching for job offers or job placement.
Another of the MIC’s services is the website www.mic.iom.sk, a unique source of legal and practical information for foreigners and foreign women on important areas of life in Slovakia. Information is available in Slovak, English and Russian. In 2022, 1,054,001 visitors searched for information on the MIC website.
In the past year, in response to the arrival of people fleeing the war in Ukraine, the MIC has conducted new webinars on labour and family law, recordings of which are available on the IOM YouTube page.
Other innovative MIC applications offer information for foreigners from any country who want to come to Slovakia and want to find out whether they need a visa to enter Slovakia and what kind of residence is required to study, work or do business in Slovakia. In 2022, 6,740 clients from 180 countries used the services of the web application Visa Check, and 2,833 clients used the services of the web application Work Permit Check.
Slovak language courses for foreigners in the Slovak Republic
In 2022, the MIC opened 106 Slovak language courses in Bratislava, Košice and other cities in Slovakia, including 54 courses for people from Ukraine. A total of 2,296 people registered for the courses.
Supporting the cultural life of communities of foreigners in Slovakia
The MIC also cooperated with cultural mediators – representatives of associations and communities of foreigners in Slovakia. With the support of the Centre, they organise events through which they support the life of the community, help compatriots and create a space for mutual understanding between the communities and the majority society. In 2022, cultural mediators with the support of MIC organised 10 community information sessions for 329 people.
IOM Migration Information Centre – Supporting labour mobility and integration of migrants
In 2022, the MIC started implementing activities from the Slovak Recovery and Resilience Plan that specifically target talent, highly skilled foreign workers and international students from EU and non-EU countries, as well as Slovak returnees.
Since July, the MIC has provided consultations and services under the Recovery and Resilience Plan activities, which have contributed to supporting the attraction and retention of talent in the Slovak Republic. The MIC also extended its advisory services to employers employing highly skilled foreign workers from EU and non-EU countries, for whom it provided consultations and specialised training on the employment of foreigners.
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 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.
IOM Migration Information Centre to support integration of migrants in Slovakia (phase X, individual project). The project is financed by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Home Affairs Funds.
The activities of the IOM Migration Information Centre to support labour mobility and the integration of migrants within the framework of the Slovak Recovery and Resilience Plan are funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU.
In 2022, these activities were co-funded by the IOM Emergency Response to Ukraine.
At the beginning of 2022, the IOM published an instruction material, We Are At Home Here, for educators and trainers.
It provides them flexible and user-friendly material with background information, activities and links to other resources to prepare and integrate the topic of migration and migrant integration into education simply and engagingly.
The IOM also published three video interviews in which influencers Lužifčák, Sandra @DejepisInak and Bača talk to young people originally from Ukraine, Iran and Ivory Coast about their life in Slovakia. Through the interviews and their stories, viewers and participants learn about migration and foreigners living in Slovakia in an interesting way.
In March 2022, IOM Slovakia trained professionals from 11 cities – headmasters, teachers, social educators, school psychologists and other workers – on how to create interesting education on migration using the methodological material We Are At Home Here, facts about migration, video interviews with foreigners and 14 activities prepared by the IOM.
For more information, see IOM’s Migration education materials.
Implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic within the framework of the subsidy programme for the promotion, support and protection of human rights and freedoms and the prevention of all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other manifestations of intolerance. This content is the sole responsibility of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the authors of the videos and materials.
In 2022, 90 non-EU nationals from Slovakia were voluntarily returned to twelve countries with IOM assistance. The majority of returnees were directed to Turkey, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Vietnam.
In the context of the war in Ukraine, the programme provided return assistance to nine nationals from Armenia, Nigeria, Georgia, Panama, Libya and Zimbabwe.
The IOM’s programme also provides reintegration assistance, and in 2022 the IOM provided such assistance to 18 returnees from Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe upon their return to their country of origin from Slovakia.
The IOM has opened a chat box on the website www.avr.iom.sk for those interested in making contact online and facilitating communication about the IOM’s return home services and has added a map of assistance with the countries where it has assisted with return and post-return home.
Read more: Statistics of AVRR programme since 2004.
Within the framework of the Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegration Programme (AVRR), the IOM helps migrants who are not allowed to reside in Slovakia.
As a part of the AVRR programme, migrants can benefit from services provided by the IOM: counselling and preparation of return, assistance with arranging of travel documents, provision of travel tickets, temporary accommodation, food, clothing and health care until the date of departure. During the return procedure, the IOM assists migrants with transportation in Slovakia, at the airport during departure and during transfers and, if necessary, with transportation following their return home.
An important part of the programme is reintegration assistance provided to migrants, which they can use to stabilise 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 financed by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Home Affairs Funds.
In 2022, the IOM operated its information phone line on trafficking and safe travel. Its staff responded to telephone and email inquiries about trafficking, requests for employment agency background checks and requests for information on trafficking prevention training.
In the past year, the IOM has provided reception assistance to five Slovak citizens suspected of being trafficked. In three cases, the IOM provided reintegration assistance, and in the other two cases, implementation of reintegration assistance is ongoing and will be completed in 2023. The IOM referred one victim to the Slovak Catholic Charity, which operates a reintegration assistance programme for victims of trafficking.
According to IOM Ukraine reports, one in two Ukrainian men/women are prepared to accept a risky job offer and travel abroad in search of work. The IOM is responding to the potential risks of such work and building the capacity of frontline workers to assist people fleeing war in Ukraine.
Since March, the IOM has trained 724 professionals in preventing trafficking and protecting against sexual exploitation and abuse in 63 training sessions.
Among them are medical staff, members of the Fire and Rescue Corps of the Ministry of Interior, the Slovak Red Cross, the Ministry of Defence, the Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior, counsellors, interpreters, staff of non-profit organisations, municipalities and state administration staff, including, for example, labour inspectors.
In addition, in its information campaign, the IOM provides basic information at its information points at borders and registration centres and distributes information materials with important advice and contacts to which people can turn in case of emergency and suspicion of trafficking in human beings.
The 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 organisations in the field of prevention, identification of victims and care for victims of trafficking in human beings. The IOM also prepares information and educational materials for teachers, lecturers, preventionists and other professionals.
For more information visit:
In 2022, this programme was co-funded by the IOM Emergency Response to Ukraine.
The EMN activities in 2022 reacted to the information needs relating to the war in Ukraine. Since the outbreak of the war, the EMN has collected information and data on measures taken by the Member States in response to the influx of people fleeing the war.
EU Member States, including Slovakia, have mapped the implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive. The EMN has published its Informs on various topics, for example, focusing on how countries ensured registration and the issuing of documents, access of refugees to health care, social support, education, employment and accommodation.
Apart from that, the EMN continued providing up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information on migration.
EMN publication activities
In 2022, the EMN published the Annual Report on Migration and Asylum 2021 and finalised 13 Informs, including two Informs related to measures taken in the context of the war in Ukraine.
The EMN answered 65 ad-hoc queries on different aspects of migration and international protection.
The EMN also prepared three studies on the following topics:
- Integration of migrant women;
- Detention and alternatives to detention in international protection and return procedures;
- Third-country national victims of trafficking in human beings: detection, identification and protection.
The EMN in Slovakia organised several thematic meetings with the Bureau of Border and Foreign Police of the Police Force Presidium, Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic or Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic.
Activities for students were a new item. Apart from lectures on migration, the EMN conducted workshops in several EU countries, including Slovakia, using its educational tool Destination Europe. Young people had the possibility to experience the role of a minister, euro commissioner, mayor or NGO representative and take decisions that influence the creation of migration policies as well as the lives of three concrete migrants.
At the end of the year, EMN Slovakia organised a National Conference: Dignified Labour Conditions as a Tool to Fight Modern Slavery. In this way, the EMN supported the nascent national debate in defining the concept of labour exploitation in Slovakia and in creating and implementing the concept and tools against labour exploitation in the Slovak Republic by sharing experiences and good practices from selected countries, including Ukraine, which is the first country of origin when it comes to the number of non-EU foreign workers.
The European Migration Network – EMN organises working meetings and expert events, prepares responses to ad hoc queries and elaborates publications through which it provides up-to-date, objective, reliable and comparable information on migration and international protection to the European Union, its Member States and the public. The EMN has its National Contact Point in each EU Member State as well as in Norway, Moldova and Georgia. 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 and co-funded by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.
Since the first days of the war, the IOM has been helping people fleeing Ukraine to Slovakia. From counselling and help with first steps in a new country to help with temporary accommodation, financial and material support, and mental health support that helps them cope with the experienced situation and the new environment.
IOM assistance at borders and in centres
Among those arriving from Ukraine are nurses, students, artisans, lawyers, construction workers, athletes, artists or doctors, and people from many other professions. In the first moments after their arrival in Slovakia, IOM staff and workers are also helping them at border crossings and in assistance centres in Vysne Nemecke, Ubla, Velke Slemence, Michalovce and Kosice. By the end of 2022, 5,900 people fleeing the war in Ukraine had been provided with immediate personal assistance and important information about temporary shelter in Slovakia, how to apply for it, advice on services, residence, transport, the social protection system or employment in Slovakia.
Temporary accommodation for people from Ukraine
IOM’s Housing Assistance Programme in Kosice provides assistance to people from Ukraine, offering accommodation, social counselling, psychosocial assistance, legal counselling, job orientation and language courses. Since the start of this programme in September 2022, the IOM has assisted 94 people.
At the Humanitarian Centre in Gabcikovo, the IOM provides legal, social and labour counselling, material assistance, transport to neighbouring towns and to Bratislava, mental health support and community activities in partnership with the implementation partner – the organisation IPčko – and general support to refugees in cooperation with other organisations, such as UNHCR, UNICEF and their implementation partners, the Slovak Humanitarian Council and Mareena, respectively.
Thanks to a partnership with AirBnB, the IOM has helped to temporarily house 475 people in need.
Psychosocial support to people fleeing war
“Mental health support is essential for the effective integration of people fleeing the war in Ukraine into society and coping with trauma. It is important that this assistance is systematic, targeted and professionally delivered.”
To this end, the IOM has entered into a partnership with the civil association IPčko, which since the beginning of the war has been providing psychosocial assistance and crisis intervention to people fleeing the war and to humanitarian workers, volunteers, interpreters and rescuers.
The IOM trained over 40 psychologists and social workers from IPčko about the IOM’s community-based approach to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to people in emergency situations.
From September 2022, eight mobile professional teams from IPčko in the regions of Slovakia and from December 2022 twelve teams provided psychological first aid, as well as individual and group counselling to people from Ukraine. Psychologists and social workers of IPčko also refer them to specialised services and organise other community and educational activities for them to promote mental health.
In 2022, over 5,000 people in emergency situation benefited from mental health and psychosocial support.
Emergency multi-purpose cash assistance for citizens of Ukraine
To make sure the basic needs of the most vulnerable group of displaced people are met, the IOM has provided cash assistance to support family carers of adult Ukrainian people with disabilities and adult Ukrainian people with specific needs in Slovakia. In 2022, the IOM Slovakia assisted 608 vulnerable households with emergency cash assistance.
Material assistance for refugees in Slovakia and for people in Ukraine
Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the IOM opened a 3,500-square-metre warehouse in Kosice. Another humanitarian warehouse of 5,814 square metres was operated by the IOM in Michalovce.
Both warehouses are crucial for the regular delivery of thousands of tonnes of critically important humanitarian aid to various locations in Ukraine. Since March 2022, the IOM Supply Chain Hub in Slovakia has received 675 truckloads, equating to 14,175 tonnes of material that have been delivered to Slovakia from various countries and warehouses. From these supplies, the IOM has shipped 581 truckloads, equating to 12,201 tonnes of essential aid, from Slovakia to Ukraine, helping to reduce the suffering of thousands of people on the run.
The IOM is also providing material humanitarian assistance to assistance centres, hotspots, registration centres, accommodation and other facilities in Slovakia that help people affected by the war.
In cooperation with local authorities and organisations in Slovakia, the IOM has distributed over 210 medical supply items, such as defibrillators, walking aids, resuscitation education aids, crutches, wheelchairs and equipment for rooms for nursing mothers with children at the border.
In 2022, the IOM also delivered over 107 thousand pieces of clothing and blankets, over 13,200 hygiene kits, over 6,400 kitchen kits and pieces of equipment, almost 1,300 appliances and furniture, over 19,800 items of non-perishable food and water, and additional 48 thousand supplies or equipment that cover basic needs and improve the daily lives of thousands of people from Ukraine.
Slovak language courses
Knowledge of the Slovak language greatly helps foreigners in their first steps in Slovakia. It increases their chances of finding a job matching their work experience and professional skills, facilitates communication with Slovak authorities or doctors, or helps with the inclusion of children in schools, among many other benefits. In addition, they are economically active and beneficial to the society that hosts them.
To this end, the IOM has extended its free Slovak language courses to Ukrainian citizens who were granted temporary refuge in Slovakia. From February 2022, over 890 people registered for in-person and online classes of Slovak language in Bratislava, Gabcikovo, Presov and Kosice.
Data collection and needs analysis for people on the run
In the event of a crisis, the IOM collects and analyses data on the mobility, vulnerabilities, intentions and needs of displaced and migrant people and contributes to making assistance responsive to the needs of the affected population. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the IOM Slovakia team has been collecting data through its official Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) mechanism at the border crossings in Vysne Nemecke, Ubla and Velke Slemence, at the registration centres in Michalovce and Humenne, and at the hotspot in Kosice.
In 2022, IOM Slovakia collected data from 1,935 interviews with refugees from Ukraine and non-EU citizens arriving in Slovakia and 697 interviews with people heading from Slovakia to Ukraine.
All published IOM Slovakia DTM reports can be found at https://dtm.iom.int/slovakia.
Since the first days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the IOM has been supporting Ukrainian people arriving in Slovakia with aid ranging from direct assistance at the border crossings and dedicated centres, short- and mid-term accommodation, access to food, psychosocial support and non-food aid. Additionally, adult Ukrainian citizens with disabilities and specific needs residing in Slovakia benefited from the six-month cash assistance.
The IOM Migration Information Centre is providing Ukrainian people with legal, social and job counselling, Slovak language courses and other assistance, to support their social and economic inclusion.
The IOM has been raising awareness and building capacity of frontline workers and other professionals in counter-trafficking and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.
For more information visit: www.iom.sk/ukraine
The IOM Slovakia response to Ukraine was generously funded by: the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Airbnb, the Council of Europe Development Bank, Foreign, France, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Government of Japan, the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Swiss-Europe Rapid Response Fund, and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.