Slovenia chapter of the Regional Refugee and Migrants Response Plan launched in Ljubljana

The launch was opened by the keynote address of the UNHCR Head of Office in Slovenia, Mr. Vito Trani. In his speech, Mr. Trani highlighted the flexible nature of RRMRP in light of the continuously changing situation on the ground. He thanked the Slovenian government for the good job that it has been doing […]

The launch was opened by the keynote address of the UNHCR Head of Office in Slovenia, Mr. Vito Trani. In his speech, Mr. Trani highlighted the flexible nature of RRMRP in light of the continuously changing situation on the ground. He thanked the Slovenian government for the good job that it has been doing in managing the situation and highlighted the contributions in many areas of UNHCR and partners until this day. He reminded that special attention needs to be paid to those refugees with special needs, in particular women and children, unaccompanied and separated children, victims of SGBV. In relation to the changing nature of the situation, he alluded to need for proper healthcare, long-term accommodations and in the long run also the integration of refugees who will stay in Slovenia.

Underlining that cooperation is key to success, Mr. Trani wishes for further cooperation with and between the government and the NGOs as well as its enhancement in the areas that show room for improvement. He stressed the importance of acceptance and integration of refugees in the local communities, noting that they should be seen as an opportunity rather than a burden for the Slovenian society.

Mr. Gianluca Rocco, IOM Sub-Regional Coordinator for Western Balkans touched upon the regional dimension of the crisis and warned of the risks that smugglers represent for the safety of the refugees/migrants and the countries that they are reaching or passing through. His intervention was followed by an overview on Slovenia’s response to the refugees/migrants crisis by the Head of Operations of the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, Mr. Stanislav Lotrič. He also presented the current accommodation capacities, main achievements and main challenges for the future, underlining the importance of a coordinated approach and expressing his appreciation of cooperation with international agencies. Ms. Renata Brunskole, Secretary General of Red Cross Slovenia, presented the work of RCS in the field and their efforts in RFL. She highly praised the work of UNHCR and its continuous cooperation with RCS. The panel was concluded by Mr. William Ejalu, Head of Protection UNHCR Slovenia, who focused on the key protection issues to be addressed in the coming months, including special attention for the most vulnerable groups. He also thanked the NGO partners for their close cooperation and their work in the field as well as alluded to the importance of overcoming intolerance and prejudice.

In the discussion that followed remarks were delivered by the Ambassadors of Italy, Greece and Albania as well as representatives of the network of NGOs Sloga, the Association Hope, Slovene Philantropy, WHO and Unicef.