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Press Release


International Migrants Day: Many Faces of Migrations/Culture Crossing National Borders

Migrations date back to the very beginnings of human history. As a historical and global trend rooted in many different causes, they have moved the course of history and enriched societies by introducing multicultural experience. Therefore, migrations should not be observed solely through statistics because, in their background, there are always stories and fates of people and their families, which means migrations have a significant impact on the history and identity of a nation.

Photo: Mostphotos

Like in many other countries, migrations have left a mark in Slovenia’s history since many Slovenians at one time or another embarked on an uncertain path across Europe, some even to unknown, distant continents. Although they often did not speak the language of their destination, they made up for it with high hopes that they would be welcomed to the new environment with open arms and without prejudice. 

The migrations we have faced in the last two years are not much different from migrations in the past. They still carry a human face, the fates of people, and what is most moving, the fates of orphans.

People fleeing the destruction of war and persecution hold up a mirror for us to reflect on how tolerant we are as a society, if we are capable of respecting human rights in practise, and whether we are willing to welcome them to our society and provide them with opportunities for education and employment – all this without prior judgements and especially without spreading unfounded fear. 

The 21st century, a period in which people can move more freely than ever before, will in the future undoubtedly see new mass migrations due to different reasons. Our society should do everything in its power to prevent the possibility that the 21st century would be remembered as a time of intolerance, xenophobia and hate speech. 

Slovenia faced a large influx of migrants a year ago, and the response at the time was very successful thanks to a constructive cooperation between the Government and the representatives of civil society. They proved that a lot can be done and achieved by working together, as well as by listening and talking to each other. Nevertheless, numerous challenges still remain, which will have to be addressed by key players as well as the entire society. We have to make efforts to respect the human rights and encourage tolerance.

The Government is well-aware of this fact, which is why they have intensified their activities in raising awareness and educating people, particularly in the local communities, where migrants establish their first contacts when coming to a new country. In 2016, the Government promoted tolerance among citizens and especially the youth on the local level, and will continue to do so in the next year. 

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