Are we an inclusive society?

Are we an inclusive society?

Thirty years ago, the war in the territory of the former common homeland of Yugoslavia drove many people from their homes, and many found refuge (temporarily or permanently) in Slovenia. This was the first experience of welcoming a large number of refugees in Slovenia. Since then, there have been many wars around the world, most of them far enough away from us that most of them did not feel that they concerned us. The number of people who have received international protection in Slovenia to date is also small – only around 1 000. Recently, however, the war has started in Ukraine, which is only one country away from Slovenia, and a slightly larger number of people have again sought refuge with us. Some will return home as soon as possible, some will go to other countries, and some will stay in Slovenia. Slovenia is also a new home – temporary or permanent – for other migrants, regardless to their reasons for moving, whether it is to work, to go to school, to reunite with family or something else. Thus one of the key questions is: are we an inclusive society?

We invite you to an event where we will address three central sets of questions on integration:

1) What is integration and how do we understand it? What opportunities for (successful) integration does the state provide to refugees? What are the major challenges and obstacles that make integration difficult? How does Sweden, one of the EU’s best-ranked countries in this field, approach integration of refugees, and why has Sweden lately been questioning what has gone wrong?

2) Why do we think that integration of refugees and immigrants is still something new in Slovenia? What good practices were already present in the 1990s, but we may have completely forgotten about them or never even heard of them? Which integration practices would you highlight as good today?

3) How do immigrant women who have come from different countries, due to different reasons, at different times, and have different legal statuses in Slovenia, experience Slovenia and Slovenian society? What are their personal experiences and what – despite all the differences – do they have in common?

The event is organised in the framework of projects National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) and in the last panel Voices of Immigrant Women (VIW) and is aimed at all those working in the field of integration, whether in state institutions, NGOs or informal groups. It is also aimed at researchers, students, lecturers, other professionals and journalists.

Due to refreshments and other organisational issues, please inform us of your attendance by 20 May 2022 at or 01 234 77 20. Participants who are not from Ljubljana can be reimbursed for travel expenses, but please mention this when registering.