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24 February 2024

Slovakia: Feelings of welcome and uncertainty for those displaced from Ukraine

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Recent research by the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) into the living conditions of people displaced from Ukraine shows that - 2 years after the outbreak of the war - this group feels welcome in Slovakia, but lives in uncertainty. Key research findings include the following:

  • The feeling of uncertainty is largely caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine itself, but Slovak institutions, legislation, and measures contribute to it. Although the status of temporary protection for those displaced from Ukraine in Slovakia has been extended to 4 March 2025, the financial contribution for providers of accommodation to people from Ukraine has been reduced and is only valid until the end of March 2024. Without this support, mothers with children in particular have trouble maintaining a roof over their heads, which disrupts the sense of basic security.
  • Dignified housing is an ongoing requirement which would ensure not only stability but also adequate conditions for the accommodation of large families and children's education.
  • Mothers of children who came to Slovakia while their family remained in Ukraine are often overwhelmed. The burdens of financial security and of taking care of the household and children rest solely on their shoulders, and are compounded by fear for the wellbeing of their husbands, parents, and other loved ones in Ukraine. Although many women have managed to find employment, they commonly take up unskilled and low-paid jobs despite being highly educated.
  • These everyday problems are further amplified by a sense of timelessness and liminality, induced by the ongoing war.

The research also included a probe into the integration of young Ukrainians (aged 15-18) in the Košice region. Some are studying at Slovak schools at the same time as studying remotely in Ukraine, which can lead to feeling overloaded. It is unclear how the lives of these young people will unfold, and therefore they maintain "active" study in both places. Students mentioned various obstacles that could impact their education and integration in Slovakia, such as the language barrier or social isolation from their peers.The team of researchers from the Slovak Academy of Sciences points out that tools and measures related to the support of refugees from Ukraine should be systemic, and sustainable, and any significant changes should be more predictable in the long term.

The research is supported by the Social Probe of Ukrainian Migrants in Slovakia (UKR) project at the SAV. Four SAV workplaces are involved in the research – the Institute of Social Sciences, the Institute for Research on Social Communication, the Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology, and the Sociological Institute. In November and December 2023 4 focus group discussions were conducted with a total of 32 participants - mothers of school-aged children living in collective housing, mothers living in individual housing, childless working women, as well as male and female students of secondary and higher education institutions.


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Posted by
Martina Sekulova
Country Coordinator

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