The migrants – especially human trafficking, and irregular migration

The
issue of migration-related xenophobia, racism and violence is one that has
often permeated every corner of human society since the dawn of civilization.
The fear and hatred of the alien, the foreigner and the Other is one that’s
persisted throughout history in every organized community of individuals, yet
it is an especially poignant concern to address in the 21st century
– the age of globalization.

Thus,
the Republic of Slovenia would classify this issue into two categories, one
without the context of current political climate and one with: the manner by
which host populations and governments interact with and integrate expatriate
populations, and the solutions to and reparations for the trials, obstacles and
predicaments faced by migrants made vulnerable by political, economic and
environmental causes.

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The
Republic of Slovenia believes that it is paramount to combat the issues
pertaining to the struggles faced by migrants – especially human trafficking,
and irregular migration flows, which often exacerbate an already-deteriorated
situation. Slovenia also asserts that it would be highly salient to address the
issue of the lack of protection of vulnerable groups of migrants (in this
context, refugees and asylum-seekers), an idea which is in accordance with the
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (the 1951 Convention and the 1967
Protocol). Yet, they are often subject to torture, physical abuse, forced
labour and servitude, threats and/or sexual assault in the State of Transit or
the Host State. This pressing issue must be addressed, especially for Slovenia,
because of its lack of space to cope with the influx of refugees, many of whom
enter the country illegally – an issue that is further aggravated by its
northern neighbour Austria and other west European states closing their doors
to refugees and asylum-seekers. The roots of these problems – like xenophobia
and racism – are a result of failure to maintain the rule of law (often due to
corrupted government and/or police force), unemployment of natives of the Host
State, lack of education, and misleading media broadcasts.

Slovenia also believes that illegal immigration may pose a threat to the public
order or national security of a nation if its borders are left open
indefinitely without any control. Due to the influx of migrants, refugees, and
asylum-seekers since the closure of the Balkan Migration Route and the borders
of Austria and Germany, around half a million migrants crossed Slovenia to
Western European countries in 2015 and 2016. In light of the compounding nature
of the situation, as well as Slovenia’s enduring need to ensure the stable
continuity of public order and national safety, Slovenia has made alterations
to its Aliens Act in 2017 that enable it to take action in the case of
unsustainable or excessive unlawful entrance.

Slovenia maintains that communities must be built in respect of human
rights and dignity and highlights the fact that human rights are universal and
indivisible and so, wants to ensure that the refugees, asylum seekers, migrants
and stateless individuals are able to practice their rights and are fairly
treated and given room in as similar a fashion – if not the same – that the
Slovenes are, because it believes that people, regardless of their background,
race, religion, disabilities, or gender identity should be treated equally.
Slovenia urges all countries to not completely shut borders as it violates
Articles 2, 3, 7, 13 and 14 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is
grossly unjust for the migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and stateless
persons.

Slovenia
feels that it is also important to address the issues of protecting workers’
rights during their employment process and wishes to prevent the exploitation
of workers to ensure that the worker is minimally dependent on the individual
employer. Designing and implementing regular and reliable pathways to address
irregular labour migration is advantageous for migrants as they won’t have to
live and work in a covert manner, a situation that otherwise leaves them
vulnerable to exploitation. This can be overcome if people can be their own
sponsors and choose their own employers. A similar model was implemented in
Bahrain which allowed migrants to receive sponsor-less visa, which allows
migrants to work in jobs that are of a part-time nature and for which a single
employer may not be able or willing to sponsor a visa. Countries with large
expatriate populations similar to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates should –
in light of the United Nations’ ideals of equality and inclusion enshrined in
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – consider economically integrating
and empowering their immigrant population by allowing greater autonomy and
control on their parts in similar fashion.

The
Republic of Slovenia also believes this to be a prudent action as it stimulates
the social integration of migrants into their host nations by dissolving
state-sanctioned ethno-economic divides. The same follows for the creation of
de jure and de facto ethnically-exclusive welfare states, where exceptional privileges
are allowed to nationals of the State, while entrance into this community is
blockaded by difficult or insurmountable. Slovenia observes that situations
like this – prevalent in many Middle Eastern nations – is not conducive to
amiable relations between the local and expatriate populations of the country.

Slovenia
also wants to ensure that public health interventions aimed at protecting and
promoting the physical and mental health of migrants, as well as that of the
host community should be offered. The continuity of preventive measures such as
vaccinations, treatment for injuries, chronic conditions and other diseases are
critical. These responses will require adequate preparedness, increased
technical assistance, as well as international cooperation. Special attention
must be allocated to women and children in the form of specialized mediators
and health experts, and particularly in case of sexual abuse or trauma. Matters
of healthcare should be a top priority for State governments and the
international community as, unlike some governments and local populations of
host countries, diseases and epidemics tend to be non-discriminatory towards
who they affect.

Slovenia
further wants to ensure that every child and adult is educated, whether they be
a refugee or a national. In fact, the Republic of Slovenia is well-aware of the
importance of social and economic incorporation of migrants who reside within
its borders. Considerable effort goes into education of children who are
foreign citizens or stateless persons residing in Slovenia – they have the
right to compulsory elementary education under the same conditions as nationals
of the Republic of Slovenia. Besides classes, the government also covers other
school-related costs, such as textbooks, and out-of-class activities in sports
and culture. Adult third country nationals can attend a special integration
programme, consisting of a Slovenian language course which is combined with the
basics of Slovenian culture, history and Constitution. Moreover, Slovenian
Ministry of Education also facilitates the teaching of mother tongues and
cultures of migrant students. Thorough knowledge and understanding of one’s
rights is of utmost importance when addressing the injustices of migration, and
thus, Slovenia urges other member states to educate migrants and nationals both
parties in this regard as well as integrate migrant populations into their Host
State, and prevent further conflict.

The issues that may arise with these proposals consist
of the supposed violations of the human rights law and the lack of equipment,
resources, and finance, to facilitate the migration process. Member states may
argue that the tightening of the borders will violate Article Number 13 and 14
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, however, it is crucial to bear in
mind that the amendment made to the Aliens Act; Article 10b particularly,
ensures that asylum-seekers whose life or health is in danger would be allowed
to enter the country. In fact, the tightening of borders will only take place
for a period of 6 months if the influx of migrants seriously endangers public
order or internal security of the Republic of Slovenia. Furthermore, even
aliens will not be sent back to their Country of Origin if their life is in
danger in their Country of Origin.

In
regards to the latter, to ensure that the migration process is facilitated
smoothly in case of lack of finance and resources, Slovenia urges the
international community to better cooperate in the field of capacity building
and assist the countries in need of appropriate capacities. This is in order to
ensure both security of the nation, and of these indigent refugees,
asylum-seekers and stateless persons to prevent harsh conditions including
acute isolation, overcrowding, limited access to basic services, including
health care and education, cases of sexual abuse by the service providers, acts
of intimidation, taunting and provocation, and continuing reports of suicide
and self-harm.