Daniela Krajčová

About Location

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Refugee Camp in Rohovce, Slovakia.

Historians usually trace Slovakia’s (officially named Slovak Republic) roots to the Great Moravian Empire, founded in the early ninth century. The territory of Great Moravia included all of present western and central Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and parts of neighboring Poland, Hungary, and Germany. The majority of the 5.4 million contemporary inhabitants of the Slovak Republic are Slovak (80.7%). Hungarians are officially the largest ethnic minority (8.5%) and are concentrated in the southern and eastern regions of Slovakia. Up to 10% of the population is thought to be Roma, although the last official census (2011) put their number at 2.0%. Other ethnic groups include Czechs, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Germans, and Poles. The Slovak constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the official state language is Slovak, and Hungarian is widely spoken in the south. Despite its modern European economy and society, Slovakia has a significant rural element. About 46% of Slovaks live in villages of less than 5,000 people, and 14% in villages of less than 1,000.


 

Currently there are approximately 1500 refugees seeking asylum in Slovakia. Coming primarily from India, Pakistan, and Moldavia, the majority of the people left their country for economical reasons with the intention of Slovakia being a transition country on the way to another Western European country. The Migration Office considers each request for asylum individually and every year around 10 asylums are given. 

 

Krajčová states, "Unfortunately, there is a lot of racism in Slovakia. For example one of the successful asylum seekers, an educated, young man from Somalia who is studying and working here is often experiencing racist attacks and comments. Some things have changed and new projects have appeared for the asylum camp, but there is still a lot to be done."