Slovenia is working with the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) on a program to implement the country's first-ever program for refugee resettlement. The initative will bring 60 protection holder from Turkey and transfer them to the European country by the end of 2018.
IOM said the new programme officially went into effect following the signing of a Framework Agreement between IOM and the Slovenian government on April 12.
'Milestone' agreement between IOM and Slovenia
"The resettlement agreement marks a new milestone in the cooperation between Slovenia and IOM," said Iva Perhavec, IOM Slovenia Head of Office. "Through the programme, we will support the Slovenian government in meeting its commitments to providing a safe and legal pathway for vulnerable Syrian refugees in Turkey, and sharing responsibility with Turkey as a host country for refugee protection," she said.
In 2017, Turkey was the top departure country for resettlement globally, with 10,162 vulnerable refugees resettled to European countries.Resettlement from Turkey is implemented through a close partnership between EU Member States, the Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), UNHCR and IOM.
The resettlement programme
The resettlement process from Turkey to Slovenia begins with the DGMM and UNHCR, which identify, assess and submit refugee files to countries for resettlement consideration. Following the selection missions undertaken by EU Member States in Turkey, selected refugees are assisted by IOM to obtain visas and travel documents, as well as for pre-departure health assessments, orientation sessions and trip management.
When the refugees are ready to travel, IOM facilitates their transfer from Turkey, including by providing operational and/or medical escorts to particularly vulnerable persons. Upon the refugees' arrival in Slovenia, NGOs and other associations will provide the protection holders with assistance and support to integrate in the European country. In 2017, IOM assisted 26,673 beneficiaries with resettlement to and humanitarian admission in European countries, an increase of 49% compared to the previous year.