Conversation Circle to look at promoting migrant voices and positive migration narratives
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A Rohingya refugee man crosses a bridge with blankets and supplies on his shoulder

Conversation Circle to look at promoting migrant voices and positive migration narratives

A WACC online discussion on 22 May will highlight tested solutions to enable migrants and refugees to be seen and heard, and identify action steps to change media and political narratives about migration.

The 90-minute Conversation Circle “Unheard Migrant Voices: Why Promoting Rights-Based Narratives on Migration is More Critical Than Ever” will feature lessons from current work worldwide, including in the United States, Asia, the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America.

“In our age of rampant misinformation and fake news, migration is becoming a lightning rod for xenophobic groups who seek to undermine trust in public institutions, including the media,” says Lorenzo Vargas, WACC’s Communication for Social Change program manager.

At the same time, he notes, the ability of migrants and refugees to make themselves heard and take part in public discourse on migration is severely curtailed by linguistic, cultural, economic, and political factors.

Vargas points out that the increasingly hostile public perception of migration obscures both the contributions of migrants and refugees, and the responsibility of host countries to protect migrants’ rights, including their right to communication.

“All this impoverishes public debate and prevents inclusive and effective actions that address real concerns.”

The online discussion will explore how factors that are contributing to negative public perception of migrants have — or could have — been effectively addressed in local or national societies.

Panelists Clarice Canonizado (Philippines), Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM); Christina Pope (USA), Welcoming International; Luis Fernando Gómez Gutiérrez (Colombia), Jesuit Network with Migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean; and Anna Coulibaly (Belgium), International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) Europe, will bring perspectives from their work with people on the move.

Participants will also consider the role of international instruments like the Global Compacts for Migration and on Refugees, and the Global Forum on Migration and Development in fostering cooperation between States to advance positive migration narratives and enable migrant voices to be heard.

“We want to look at the place of a rights-based approach to communication and what is missing in our responses,” says Vargas.

Vargas will moderate the discussion. Interpretation will be available in Spanish and French. Please register to join the conversation on 22 May.

Rohingya refugees carry emergency shelter materials and food at Kutupalong Refugee Camp near Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. Photo: Paul Jeffrey/Life on Earth

Colorful graphic with photo of a Rohingya refugee carrying blankets and the text "Unheard Migrant Voices: Why Promoting Rights-Based Narratives on Migration is More Critical Than Ever, 22 May 2024, 9–10:30am New York, 2–3:30pm London, 9–10:30pm Hong Kong, bit.ly/UnheardMigrantVoices-Register"

Unheard Migrant Voices: Why Promoting Rights-Based Narratives on Migration is More Critical Than Ever

Wednesday, 22 May 2024
9–10:30 New York | 14–15:30 London | 21–22:30 Hong Kong
Language: EN and ES, with simultaneous interpretation in FR

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