Slovenia’s First Refugee Resettlement Programme Completed after Arrival of Last Syrian Family

Ljubljana – With the arrival of the last group of resettled refugees at Jože Pučnik Airport on Wednesday, 10 October, the first Slovenian resettlement programme was completed.

Slovenia implemented its first ever refugee resettlement programme with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, by resettling 34 Syrian refugees from Turkey to Slovenia in 2018. The refugee resettlement programme came into effect after the signing of a Framework Agreement between the IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Slovenian government in April 2018.

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, while it also supported the delivery of pre-departure orientation sessions whose aim is 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.

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.

Founded in 1951 to assist in the resettlement of Europeans displaced in the aftermath of World War II, IOM has implemented refugee resettlement operations for over six decades. In 2017, 93,216 refugees were resettled worldwide by IOM. Turkey was one of the top departure countries for resettlement globally last year, with 10,162 vulnerable refugees resettled to European countries alone. In 2018, IOM in Turkey has assisted the resettlement of 5,636 Syrian refugees to Europe. A total of 23 European countries implemented resettlement or humanitarian admission programmes in 2017, more than ever.

*The statement was officially published on the website of the UOIM (Government office for the integration and support of migrants).

For more information please contact Jana Stardelova at IOM Slovenia office. Tel. +38614347351. Email: