The International Organization for Migration (IOM) as a coordinator of the European Migration Network in Slovakia organised the 9th edition of the Educational Seminar on Migration: Protection of Migrants in Vulnerable Situations that took place from 3 to 5 July 2023 in Bratislava, Slovakia. 16 speakers from 11 countries addressed the crucial topic of migrant vulnerabilities.
The EMN Educational Seminar on Migration is a unique learning platform, which fosters networking, prompts experience sharing and allows in-depth discussions among national and international experts . Bringing together over 110 speakers and participants from 23 countries, the 9th edition of the Seminar served as a collaborative platform to unravel the complexities of migrant vulnerabilities.
The experts from Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia, United Kingdom, USA and other countries, brought their expertise in the area of policy making, research, academia, journalism or directly from the field. During three intensive days, they shared their valuable insights and unveiled the realities of migrants on the move and their vulnerabilities, explored the impact of passports on global mobility and opportunities while unpacking the phenomenon of migrant caravans. Furthermore, the experts discussed modern slavery, its legal implications, and effective protection measures for victims of human trafficking.
“It’s really interesting to have different points of view from different scholars from around the Europe and from other parts of the world as well” concluded one of the participants.
During the seminar participants actively contributed to the discussions and eagerly engaged in a number of seminar workshops. During seminar’s breaks participants had an opportunity to immerse themselves into the lives of internally displaces people by asking them in the virtual reality to reflect on their most cherished possessions.
Among the participants there were representatives working in state and public administration, state implementing authorities, foreign embassies or consular representatives, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, international humanitarian organisations, think-tanks, academia and independent experts. Representatives of the EMN National Contact Points from other EU Member States also participated in the seminar.
The seminar offered two public events. On 3 July, a Slovak premiere of the documentary film The New Europeans by Nina Maria Paschalidou was screened at Kino Mladosť in Bratislava followed by the discussion evening. The public event allowed the audience to reflect upon the humanitarian catastrophe triggered by the war in Ukraine while focusing on the pressing question: Can an aging Europe manage without integrating all of these new arrivals?
On 4 July, a Slovak premiere of the drama film Buoyancy by Rodd Rathjen took place in Kino Mladosť. Based on the real events, the movie unfolds a story of a Cambodian teenager sold into forced labour on a Thai fishing boat. It serves as a passionate testimony against social injustice and a moving coming-of-age tale about a boy whose humanity is put to the test.