Challenges and opportunities for the integration of persons under international protection from the perspective of public services

On 10 April 2018, in the city of Sisak, a forum was held on “Challenges and opportunities for integration of persons under international protection from the perspective of public services”. The forum was organized by the Government Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities as part of the project “Supporting the integration of third-country nationals who need international protection” funded under the National Program for Asylum, Migration and Integration (AMIF) Fund. The purpose of the project is to make the existing integration system more efficient by raising awareness of the professional and general public about the challenges of integration, strengthen the capacity of stakeholders in the integration process and strengthen coordination activities.

A welcoming speech was held by Marko Krička, Deputy Mayor of the City of Sisak, where he welcomed all present.

An introductory speech was held by Danijela Gaube, Assistant Director of the Government Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities. She pointed out the scope and role of the Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities. She noted that at present 1583 persons were under international protection and clarified the terms of resettlement and relocation (resettlement from Turkey and relocation from Italy and Greece). She recalled the city of Sisak, which has 24 state-owned residential facilities available to accommodate persons under international protection. In such accommodation, the person can live for 2 years. The right to such accommodation starts from the date of delivery of the decision.

Domagoj Kronstein, director of the Novi Zagreb Social Welfare Center, explained the function of the center more clearly and clarified that the Porin Asylum Reception Center is for immigrants and the Dugava Service Center for children without escort. In his speech, he addressed the problem of Croatian language, but the problem was solved very quickly by the engagement of a translator and Islamic community in the city of Zagreb. He also mentioned children without escort, which are a big problem and a great burden. There are protocols for children without escort. Special guardians are urgently and without delay assigned to children ages 14-18. Children up to 14 years of age are accommodated in children’s homes, children aged 14 and over are accommodated in homes for children with behavioral problems, and children from the age of 16 are accommodated in a shelter for international protection applicants. For such children, a health check is required before moving to the accommodation facilities. The issues they face when it comes to children are determining the exact age, not having documents and a large fluctuation.

Ana Marinović Radojković, a pedagogue of Gustav Krklec primary school, Travno, told about the experience of asylum students education and what problems they encounter in the educational system. Primary school Gustav Krklec is a school for children from the  Reception Center Porin. She made more familiar all the attendees about the involvement of children in schooling.

After the break, Vesna Štefančić from the Croatian Public Health Institute pointed out that persons under international protection do not have health insurance and a health certificate. She noted that operational, on-site health care does not work as it should be. They are facing many problems.

The final lecture was exhibited by Mihaela Munko from the Croatian Employment Service Kutina. She pointed out that 150 people were registered at CES in Kutina. In 2018, 103 persons were registered at the CES and 39 people were able to find a job.

In conclusion, Croatian language learning is a problem in all spheres and it will require much more cooperation, work and effort in order to help people in transition and to include them in society.


Nives Kovač

11 of April 2018, Sisak


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