Slovakia: Sneak peek of the future Integration Program for Beneficiaries of International Protection
On 1-2 December 2015, a national conference and international expert round table took place in Bratislava. The aim of the event was to contribute to the preparation of the state Integration Program for Beneficiaries of International Protection which is being coordinated by the Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior.
Among participants, UNHCR’s Bureau for Europe put emphasis on integration being a complex two-way and long-term process into which all national stakeholders should be actively involved. The importance of a multidimensional approach has also been pointed out. According to this approach, all integration aspects and dimensions (legal, socio-economic and socio-cultural) are interlinked and require coordination of multiple sectors and actors, including civil society, private sector and volunteers. The European Council on Refugees and Exiles highlighted that the first integration phase during the asylum process should be interlinked with the second phase or the “actual” integration.
Participants have also identified the most significant obstacles to integration for beneficiaries of international protection in Slovakia:
- Insufficient command of the national language which limits refugees to low-skilled and low-wage jobs,
- Lack of interest in employing persons with temporary residence as well as mistrust from employers
- Limited access to (public) housing due to the condition to have a permanent residency.
- The reluctance of doctors to carry out mandatory health examinations based on the “pink insurance card” issued by the Ministry of Interior.
- The lack of psychological care for persons who often have experienced trauma.
Recommendations, presentations and media outputs ae available here