On 21 August 2012, the National Contact Point of the European Migration Network (EMN) in the Slovak Republic arranged an evening discussion called Are we also at home here? Discussion was opened for public and was part of the EMN educational seminar entitled Migration Globally and Locally.

Integration of migrants in the Czech and Slovak Republic was discussed by the representatives of migrant communities and experts on this subject from both countries: Peter Dráľ (Milan Šimečka Foundation, Slovakia), Azim Farhadi (Afgani Community in Slovakia), Martina Janíková (Centre for Coordination of Integration of Foreigners at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic), Bulgan O. Rico (Czech non-governmental organization Slovo 21) and Vladimír Slama (Migration Information Centre IOM, Slovakia).

Prior to the discussion, screening of the movie Next Door Family presented a successful model of migrant integration through the meetings of Czech families and families of migrants. These meetings have been organized in the Czech Republic for several years by the non-governmental organization Slovo 21. Within the framework of the international project Next Door Family – Inclusive Neighbourhoods, this year’s family meetings will take place in six other countries apart from the Czech Republic – Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Slovakia and Spain. In Slovakia, 20 Sunday lunch meetings between Slovak and foreign families will be held on 18 November 2012.         

According to the discussion, one of the important elements in the integration of migrants is involvement of migrants in active participation in the integration processes, their employment in related professions, in which migrants can use their own experience with migration and integration, language skills, cultural and other particularities can contribute to successful integration of other migrants. About 70 participants were interested also in personal stories of Azim Farhadi and Bulgan O. Rico’s integration in the Slovak and Czech society.

Photogallery of the evening discussion: Are we also at home here?

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The coordinator of the National Contact Point of the European Migration Network (EMN) in the Slovak Republic is the IOM International Organization for Migration. The EMN was established via Council Decision 2008/381/EC and is financially supported by the European Union. The EMN activities in the Slovak Republic are co-financed by the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic.