The International Organization for Migration and the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) assisted the departure of eight refugees to Slovenia on 29 November.
The group consisting of 8 adults from Somalia and Sudan will be relocated in Slovenia as part of the intra EU Relocation from Malta (EUREMA) pilot project, which aims to relocate refugees from Malta to other EU Member States.
UNHCR Malta is responsible for the identification and initial screening of potential candidates for relocation to the respective participating countries. The assessment process is based on individual needs and agreed selection criteria. It is the receiving countries that take the final decision about who to accept for relocation.
IOM provided a 5-hour pre-departure orientation class to help the refugees develop realistic expectations of their new lives in Slovenia. IOM will also assist the refugees during boarding procedures, and in transit.
Upon their arrival in Slovenia, all beneficiaries will be housed in the Integration House in Maribor (the second city of Slovenia) where they will be given housing support, Slovenian language courses, employment services and other forms of assistance needed to ease their integration process during their transition period to self-sufficiency.
The refugees had arrived in Malta by boat and had spent some years in Malta living in open centers.
This pilot relocation project is in response to the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum agreed in October 2008. It constitutes the largest intra-European resettlement operation with IOM support so far.
In Malta the project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Justice & Home Affairs, IOM, UNHCR and the Emigrant’s Commission.
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