Dr. Melita H. Šunjić is an Austrian citizen with Croatian roots. She started her career as a journalist with the Foreign Desk of the Austrian daily Wiener Zeitung and, in 1993, joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where she stayed for 25 years in various communications functions and worked in numerous conflict zones: the Balkans, Pakistan/Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Angola, Georgia, South Sudan, and the Middle East. She has also lived in Budapest, Pretoria, and Moscow.
In the past ten years, she has specialized in information campaigns targeting refugees, which includes working with populations on the move and understanding their motivations and decision-making processes. To this end, she has interviewed over 2000 refugees prior to their departure, in transit countries and upon arrival and studied the methods of smuggling networks.
Šunjić is the co-founder and Director of Transcultural Campaigning, a Vienna-based agency specializing in migration research communication campaigns geared towards migrants and refugees. In that capacity she has consulted several European Governments, the UNHCR as well as the EU Asylum Agency.
Melita Šunjić holds a PhD in Communication and has regularly been teaching at the University of Vienna since the late 1980.
She is the author of various books. In 2021 she published the book Die von Europa träumen, where she explains the motives that prompt people to migrate, recounts their routes and expectations and provides policy suggestion to European governments
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