There are over 167 thousand foreign nationals with residence permit In Slovakia. They represent 3.07% of the total population of Slovakia. Citizens from countries that are not Member States of the European Union (so-called third country nationals) represent 66.5% of the total number of foreign nationals in Slovakia. Despite the fact that the Slovak Republic is among EU countries with the lowest share of foreign nationals within the population, the number of foreign nationals has increased several times, and their numbers have grown since the accession of the Slovak republic to the EU. This migration trend leads to greater cultural as well as religious diversity, and according to various surveys, the majority population does not have sufficient information on migration and thus persists to have prejudices and stereotypes.
IOM in Slovakia responds to these trends by implementing the following activities in the field of integration of foreign nationals:
Direct assistance and counselling in integration for foreigners in SR
IOM‘s key program in the field of integration of foreigners in Slovakia, is the IOM Migration Information Centre (MIC), which provides to its clients – third-country nationals – free legal and social counselling, labour counselling including job seeking assistance, retraining courses and courses of Slovak language and supports community life of foreign nationals in Slovakia.
More information on: www.mic.iom.sk
Capacity building of professionals in the field of migration
From 2010 to 2015, IOM organized trainings and workshops for employees of the state Administration, local Authorities and Non-Governmental Organizations, who work with third-country nationals. Trainings provided by IOM emphasized reinforcement of knowledge in various aspects of migration and integration of foreign nationals, to enhance intercultural and communication skills and mutual cooperation among various institutions providing services to foreign nationals.
Raising Awareness on Migration
In the past, IOM has carried out several activities which helped to raise awareness on migration and migrants in Slovakia and to remove barriers between the native citizens and foreign nationals:
Migrants in the Spotlight: Training and Capacity Building for Media Representatives and Students
IOM in Slovakia and five other European countries, held an international media competition on migration and professional workshops by means of which it increased professional capacity of current and future media professionals, which should help providing the public with high-quality media coverage through balanced information on migration and thus to reduce stereotypes and prejudices towards the migrants.
Next Door Family EU
This international project, in an original way, united native families and those of foreign nationals through mutual lunches in seven European countries. Due to personal contact, the foreign nationals had a unique chance to gain personal experience with Slovak natives and the natives had the opportunity to host a lunch for foreign nationals living in Slovakia at their homes and thus to overcome mutual prejudices and barriers. In a number of European cities, such family meetings were filmed and the footage was later used to create a documentary called Next Door Family.
We Are At Home Here
Within the project, IOM prepared and released a documentary film, didactic material and an information poster, which all serve to introduce well balanced and substantiated information on migration to the public and also serve as educational resources for teachers and lecturers. Teaching staff may also use this material to introduce the topic of migration at schools and lecturers to use it in the training process of professionals working with foreigners.
Research on various aspects of migration
Causes, forms and consequences of violence against third country nationals in SR
In Slovakia, IOM examined the experiences of migrants with violence and abuse in the context of public places, domestic violence and violence at the workplace. Based on the research, IOM carried out an analysis on the phenomenon of violence against third country nationals, to form the basis for the introduction of effective legislative, political and practical measures aimed at preventing, detecting, combating violence and addressing its consequences. Results of the research are published in the publication Migrants' Experiences with Violence in Slovakia.
Migration in the Slovak Republic following its accession to the EU (2004 – 2008) – analysis of migration trends and public attitudes toward issues of migration and integration of foreigners
In the first component of research, IOM analysed the main elements of migration (legal and illegal migration, labour migration and emigration and naturalization) for a period of four years following Slovakia's accession to the EU. Research outlined the impact of migration on Slovak society, including demography, economy and the labour market, and mapped the evolution of migration management and current challenges of Slovak migration policy. Results of the research are published in a study Migration Trends in the Slovak Republic after Its Accession to the EU (2004-2008).
The second component of research focused on identification, representative survey, questionnaire survey, qualitative survey with focus groups and semi-structured interviews with public policy makers and experts, analysis and presentation of Slovak public attitudes towards foreign migration, integration and employment of migrants. Results of the research, along with recommendations for communication strategies and information campaigns on migration and integration of foreign nationals, are published in a study Public Attitudes toward Foreigners and Foreign Migration in the Slovak Republic.
Information on other IOM activities in the field of integration of foreign nationals may be found here.
Migration Information Centre to Support Integration of Migrants in Slovakia (phase IX, Individual Project). The project is co-funded by the European Union from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Home Affairs Funds.