Slovenia will implement its first ever refugee resettlement programme with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, by resettling 60 Syrian refugees from Turkey to Slovenia in 2018. The new programme officially came into effect after the signing of a Framework Agreement between IOM and the Slovenian government on Thursday (12/04).
“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,” Perhavec continued.
In 2017, Turkey was the top departure country for resettlement globally, with 10,162 vulnerable refugees resettled to European countries alone.
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 process from Turkey 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 with case processing, including assistance with obtaining visas and travel documents, pre-departure health assessments, pre-departure orientation sessions and movement management.
When the refugees are travel-ready, IOM facilitates their transfer from Turkey, including by providing operational and/or medical escorts to particularly vulnerable persons with special needs to resettlement states in the EU, where representatives of the local IOM office meet and greet them at arrival.
Following the arrival of refugees in Slovenia, local non-governmental organizations and other service providers will provide them with integration assistance to support their smooth and successful start to integration in their new home.
Resettlement of refugees has continued to be one of the fundamental purposes and priorities of IOM. Founded in 1951 to assist in the resettlement of Europeans displaced in the aftermath of World War II, IOM has been working closely with governments, UNHCR, non-governmental organizations and other partners to provide a durable solution for vulnerable refugees through resettlement for over 65 years.
In 2017, some 93,216 refugees were resettled worldwide by IOM, of which 26,673 beneficiaries were assisted with resettlement to and humanitarian admission in European countries, an increase of 49 per cent compared to the previous year. A total of 23 European countries implemented resettlement or humanitarian admission programmes in 2017, two more than in 2016.