With the arrival of the final group of refugees to be resettled at Ljubljana's Jože Pučnik last week, Slovenia's first refugee resettlement program has been completed. IOM announced its completion in a statement that noted that the country had activated the program with the UN agency's support, resettling 34 Syrian refugees from Turkey in 2018.
The refugee resettlement program began after the signing of a framework agreement between IOM and the Slovenian government in April.
Six families transferred from July to October
The groups arriving from Turkey between July and October 2018 included 6 families, consisting of 13 adults and 21 children, of whom 15 are male and 19 female. Following the facilitation of the selection mission by the Slovenian government in Turkey earlier this year, IOM assisted the selected refugees with obtaining travel documents and completing pre-departure health assessments.
In addition, IOM also supported the delivery of pre-departure orientation sessions. Those aim to build awareness of cultural differences, inform about services available to refugees and help develop the skills, attitudes and understanding needed to ease the integration process in a new country.
IOM facilitated the transfer of three groups of refugees to Slovenia where representatives of the IOM office in Ljubljana met and greeted them at arrival. To support them with a smooth and successful start in their new home, local non-governmental organizations and other actors will provide the newly arrived refugees with integration assistance, such as help with arranging accommodation and accessing health care services and assisting children with school enrollment.
Last transfer on October 10
According to the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants, the last family that arrived under the resettlement programme has already been accommodated in the city of Velenje. With the beginning of this week, the family will start with their integration process and adaptation to the new environment. They will attend orientation classes that will help them familiarize with the Slovenian language, culture and customs.
When discussing their future, the families are already thinking about ways in which they can contribute to the Slovenian society with their skills and knowledge. The families arriving through the resettlement programme received a chance to begin a new life in Slovenia, attesting to the fact that resettlement programs remain a vital protection tool and a durable solution for the most vulnerable displaced populations, IOM said in a statement. In 2017, 93,216 refugees were resettled worldwide by IOM.