Meeting Migrants’ Information and Communication Needs: Grassroots Experiences from Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East
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Meeting Migrants’ Information and Communication Needs: Grassroots Experiences from Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East

IMRF 2022 Side Event

Organizers: World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM).


Context: The International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) is the primary intergovernmental global platform to discuss and share progress on the implementation of all aspects of the Global Compact on Migration, an international UN Agreement on migration that was adopted in 2018 at the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Morocco.

As part of its mandate to empower its partner organizations, WACC is interested in organizing a side event within the civil society space of the IMRF meeting in New York, United States, 17-20 May 2022.


Description (250 words max): This event shares learnings and best practices derived from grassroots initiatives from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Jordan, Mexico, and Colombia seeking to meet migrants’ communication and information needs, such as access to information, access to media technology and connectivity, fair media representation, their ability to exercise their right to free expression, and participating in their new communities. These unmet needs undermine migrants’ ability to exercise their human rights.

These initiatives are helping to enhance the capacity of migrant groups to engage in advocacy, build relationships with media houses, and produce a body of evidence to help raise public awareness about the issues they face.

This work is relevant because as migration and displacement have increased, so has media coverage, not all of them positive. Some coverage has led to increased hostility towards migrants, as well as misinformation and disinformation. The ability of migrants and refugees to make themselves heard in their host societies and to contribute to public discourse on migration is severely curtailed by linguistic, cultural, economic, and political factors.

These grassroots initiatives, supported by WACC, align with the goals of the UN Global Compact for Migration, particularly Objective 3- Provide accurate and timely information at all stages of migration (especially actions c and d), Objective 16- Empower migrants and societies to realize full inclusion and social cohesion (especially action a and f), and 17- Eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration (especially actions b, c, f, and g).


What agenda item is this event most relevant to, and how?: This event is relevant to the issues discussed as part of Roundtable Three, especially #16 Inclusion and Social Cohesion; and Roundtable Four, especially #3 Information Provision, #7 Reduce Vulnerabilities, and # 17 Eliminate Discrimination. Information and communication issues are cross-cutting and have a major impact on social cohesion, vulnerabilities, and discrimination because they affect how migrants are perceived in their host societies, their ability to make their voices heard, and the extent to which they can access vital information.
Preferred dates (suggest three) and time (in EDT) *
May 18 – 9 am; May 19- 9 am; May 20- 9 am—but we are flexible.

Proposed speakers (names and brief summaries)

  • Lorenzo Vargas, Manager for Migration and Communication Rights Programme, WACC (Colombia/Canada)
  • Rey Asis, Manager for Advocacy and Campaigns, APMM, (Philippines/Hong Kong)
  • Carolina Martinez, Program Manager for Migration, Grupo COMUNICARTE, (Colombia)
  • Marie Pia Rieublanc, Manager, La Sandia Digital (México)
  • Daoud G. Kuttab, Director, Jordan Community Media Network (Jordan)
  • Julia Puno, Research Manager, Asia Pacific Research Network (Philippines)
  • Salma Sakr, Advocacy Officer, Anti-Racism Movement (Lebanon)


    Suggested agenda *
  • Introduction: Lorenzo Vargas (5 minutes)
  • Presentations
    o Grupo COMUNICARTE, (Colombia) (7 minutes)
    o La Sandia Digital (México) (7 minutes)
    o Jordan Community Media Network (Jordan) (7 minutes)
    o Asia Pacific Research Network (Philippines) (7 minutes)
    o Anti-Racism Movement (Lebanon) (7 minutes)
  • Moderated Discussion and Questions: Rey Asis (15 minutes)


    Plan of action (a brief description of the objectives and expected outcomes of the event) *
    Objectives:
    a. To enable international audiences to learn about best practiced derived from grassroots efforts to address migrants’ communication and information needs;
    b. To raise awareness about the critical link between communication rights and migrants’ rights, which is tacitly recognized by GCM Objectives 3, 16, and 17;
    c. To encourage other stakeholders (civil society organizations, governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and media) to embrace communication rights as an essential dimension of the promotion of migrants’ human rights.

Expected Outcomes:
d. A group of stakeholders (civil society organizations, governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and media) willing to champion communication and information issues in the field of migration
e. A public declaration on the critical link between communication rights and migrants’ rights
f. A public communications campaign to raise awareness about the above declaration

Format (will the event be hybrid, in-person or online? How many people are expected to attend? Equipment and/or interpretation provided?) *

This will be an in-person event. We expect 50-100 people to attend. The event will be mostly in English, with some presentations in Spanish. Equipment and interpretation will be provided. WACC will sponsor the participation of the speakers listed above and will cover the costs of organizing the event.


See available Migration Reporting resources from WACC Global: https://waccglobal.org/resources/migration-reporting/

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