ZAGREB, December 11, 2019 – Croatia, which is only building a system for integration of refugees, is achieving good results in their accommodation and employment, but the problem is learning the Croatian language, it was said at a round table discussion in Zagreb on Tuesday.
During the round table, organised by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, JRS head Tvrtko Barun said that when it came to accommodation, Croatia could serve as a positive example in the European Union, but noted that in recent years the language had become a serious obstacle.
Since 2006, when Croatia introduced the asylum system, slightly over 900 foreigners have been given international protection, and in the meantime some 300 of them have left Croatia.
Giuseppe DiCara of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, praised the integration of refugees in the Croatian labour market and their accommodation, and pointed to problems in studying the Croatian language.
The problem lies with the Croatian language, we are trying, in cooperation with the Interior Ministry and the Education Minister, to solve this problem, he added.
Donya Spanta, an asylee from Iran, said she had noticed a lack of support for the full integration of asylum seekers into Croatian society because of their lack of knowledge of the Croatian language. She said she personally had no problems because she speaks English, but that other people at the centre for refugees were very isolated in their small communities.
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