On 7 November 2018, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Migration Office of the Ministry of Interior of the SR as the members of EMN Contact Point for the Slovak Republic organized a small-scale meeting on the addressing the topic of migration to the public.
In the context of changed the migration situation within the EU since 2015, the topic of migration and asylum has become part of both political and public debate. However, given the very low share of foreigners living in Slovakia (1,8%), most of the population do not have a personal experience with foreigners and therefore their views and attitudes are formed based on mediated information. However, these have a different level of reliability, validity and credibility, causing a significant increase of extremism, hate and unverified and untrue information about migrants or refugees.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss possibilities, ways and communication strategies of communicating with the public when the hate speech, aggression or conspiracy theories are associated with topics related to migration and refugees. The meeting was intended especially for the staff of the Migration Office and the communication department of the Ministry of the Interior who communicate with the public in the framework of their activities (trainings, lectures, discussions, interviews, opinions etc.) and are also confronted with negative statements on the given topics.