Partners from the five regions where MIEUX+ is active requested our support in making the best use of communications to address migration-related challenges. More than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic spread at international level and, with 40 requests received since the beginning of the phase, four of our past and ongoing projects focused in delivering communications activities to resolve and address our partners’ needs.
How can information campaigns better contribute to the protection of migrant families? What are the key health measures to share with migrants in local migration offices during a pandemic? Why it is important to prepare cross-border officials so they continue to operate in times of crisis? How to best inform asylum seekers and refugees about the asylum procedure? These are some of the questions that our ongoing and completed projects are addressing.
Communication tools to better inform and protect migrant populations
- Raising awareness on the Brazilian asylum procedure amongst the migrant population
For a recently completed project in Brazil, we had the opportunity to work with our partners in the production of two information videos on the Brazilian asylum procedure. Together with the Brazilian Public Defenders’ Office (DPU), and the Brazilian National Committee on Refugees (CONARE) we created two videos aiming at raising awareness and informing asylum seekers and refugees on 1) their rights and duties and 2) the asylum eligibility interview.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the production process was the involvement of migrants and asylum seekers themselves. During production, the team and partners facilitated an exchange of views with groups of asylum seekers and refugees about their expectations and needs. Two formers asylum-seekers now naturalised Brazilian supported the Arabic translation and voice-over of the videos.
The videos are now available in the DPU and CONARE’s communications channels in five languages and with five set of subtitles (English, Spanish, French and Arabic). Both organisations have agreed to disseminate the videos to ensure that the target audience is reached as well as an increased outreach of information.
The Brazil III Action was concluded not so long ago so the impact and the reach of the videos will be assessed in the coming months. However, the development and production of the information videos were very insightful and demonstrated the importance of new information and communications technologies (ICT) in raising awareness on asylum procedure amongst migrant populations.
- Protecting migrant families through information campaigns
In Kazakhstan, we received a joint request from the Ombudsperson office and civil society organisations on the creation of communications campaigns and other tools to protect migrant families with children.
Creating communication tools is not just about practical experience and technical knowledge. Communication tools require a good understanding of the context, needs, expectations and ground information. Since the launch of the project, local experts have been conducting bilateral meetings and consultations with relevant stakeholders (e.g. Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour) to understand the overall context, and how communications can better address their challenges.
Taking stock from these exchanges, experts from Greece and Kazakhstan are working on two deliverables that will strengthen the knowledge of our partners on how to plan, design and implement an information campaign. On the one hand, partners will have a ‘Handbook on Communications’ detailing all of the steps to follow when putting in place a communication activity. The handbook includes practical examples and templates that partners will be able to replicate for any future campaigns.
On the other, a more specific campaign plan for an information campaign targeting migrant families with children in Kazakhstan is being drafted. This tool will serve as the starting point for further exchanges and feedback from all parties during an on-site workshop planned for late October in Astana. Building from this event, partners will have a detailed plan and audio-visual tools that will enable them to implement their own information campaigns for migrant families with children.
Communication materials to support crisis management
- Informing migrants on health measures during their visit at regional migration offices
We are nearly concluding our latest project with the National Institute for Migration (INM) in Mexico, focusing mainly on strengthening the efforts of relevant stakeholders working on migration to act according to predefined procedures on assistance to migrants in large migration flows.
This request was also part of the string of requests we received from partners who expressed their interest and need in responding to the effects and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in their work. In fact, the INM wanted to tailor their information tools to assist and communicate with migrants during health-related crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, spreading these communication materials across their 30+ regional offices around Mexico.
Communication tools were then produced to provide relevant information to migrants in case of health emergencies. During the process of creation of the tools, partners expressed their specific needs and experts from the EU helped to translate them into concrete deliverables: 1) short videos on the key health measures to adopt when visiting a regional office, 2) short videos for the INM staff working on the local offices and 3) printing materials to be placed outside and inside the offices.
The materials are now available on the INM channels. As a result, migrants in Mexico are now better informed about the key health measures to follow in times of a sanitary crisis. This is yet another concrete example of how communications can help our partners to strengthen their efforts and communication tools during health emergencies.
- Communication materials to prevent crisis
The ongoing project with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) aims at supporting the partners in their need to complement their existing “Guidelines for the movement of persons, goods and services in times of crisis” and one of the activity focuses in translating the key information from the Guidelines into comprehensive materials.
On the one hand, a set of tools was developed to inform border officials and agencies on how to manage their posts during a crisis. It comprises a brochure, factsheet, poster and animated infographics advising on safety and efficiency measures, screening and verification methods, and more.
For the COMESA Federation for Women in Business (COMFWB), we co-designed two products to help micro-, small- or medium-enterprises (MSME) to better prepare for an emergency. The first factsheet contains practical information to help the managers of MSME to stay informed and take preventive action, protect and facilitate their business and movement. The second focuses on the participation of MSME in the emergency response cycle.