Kazakhstan is a country of origin, destination and transit for many migrants in Central Asia. It is the second time that we work with Kazakh partners (read more about Kazakhstan I), and for this project, we are bringing government officials and civil society organisations to collaborate together towards a common goal: inform migrant families with children about their rights.
In fact, according to the World Bank (2021), the Central Asian country ranks third in the number of migrants received, right after Russia and Ukraine. Many labour migrants from the region such as Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, enter Kazakhstan to work both on urban and rural areas. Under the current migration regime, it was not mandatory to register children under the age of seven with the migration authorities which does not facilitate the work of NGOs who work directly with migrants. In fact, the lack of data about the number of migrant children in the country rendered the work of our partners difficult when reaching out to migrants, especially those families with children without formal schooling and vulnerable to labour exploitation.
Enhanced skills and tools on communications
Over the past months, we organised knowledge exchange sessions between EU experts and Kazakh partners, both from governmental bodies and NGOs, to discuss and share practices on 1) migration statistics, 2) regularisation of migrants and 3) role of communications. In parallel, an expert from the Greek Ombudsperson office as well as a Kazakh communications expert worked on two main deliverables that will enhance the knowledge and skills of our partners and help them develop their own communications in the mid- and long-term.
First, a handbook on communications was developed containing the main principles on how to design, implement and monitor and evaluation campaign. Secondly, a tailored plan targeting migrant families with children was initially conceptualised with our partners,. Both documents laid the foundation for the on-site mission organised late October 2022.
Mission accomplished on how to implement a campaign
Following the bilateral meetings and consultations with partners and the development of practical guidelines on how to design communication campaigns, we organised an on-site workshop in Astana to enhance the partner’s capacities on communications and invite them to draft their own preliminary information campaign plan targeted to migrant families with children.
The 3-day workshop started with opening remarks from a representative of the Human Rights Commissioner in Kazakhstan, followed by the EU Delegation and from the MIEUX+ team. As stated by Youri Skaskevitch, Attaché at the EU Delegation in Kazakhstan: “We are pleased to collaborate with MIEUX+ and ICMPD, the office of the Ombudsperson of Kazakhstan and the NGO Rodnik on this project. I am delighted to work with such a great team and to kick-off this workshop that will help partners to design, implement and monitor communication campaigns. Having a communications background myself, I understand the importance of these skills when working with migrants, in specifics migrant families with children. I hope that the information campaign that you will design during the next 3 days will not only raise awareness but contribute to actions leading migrant families with children to understand their rights in Kazakhstan.”
Participants from various Ministries such as Labour, Education and the National Bureau of Statistics joined the Ombudsperson office and representatives of civil society organisations during the workshop. Throughout the 3-day workshop, participants got to learn more about 1) main principles of communication campaigns, 2) user personas, 3) monitoring and evaluating communication channels and more.
In fact, the event was moderated by an expert from the Ombudsperson office in Greece and communications expert from Kazakhstan who facilitated practical sessions where participants had to refine and create target audience portraits that would then help them to draft messages and identify communication channels. By the end of the workshop, plans for information campaigns were drafted per organisation, enabling and creating the space for participants to learn, exchange and build their own tools to inform migrant families with children about their rights.
Discussion spaces were also created towards the end of the workshop to allow participants to define immediate next steps, identify monitoring tools for their future campaign and discuss areas to be included in this project or further explored for the future such as collaboration with associations from countries of origin and embassies.
Keeping the Team Europe approach as a priority, we will now work with the expert from Greece and Kazakhstan in the development of communication materials to support their campaign. Partners have been tasked to finalise the plan they drafted during the workshop and to present it during an online meeting that will be organised in early 2023.