On 14 February 2023, MIEUX+ co-organised a presentation together with the Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Centre for Social and Psychological Rehabilitation and Adaptation for Women and Children ‘Rodnik’, to conclude the Kazakhstan II project.
Background to the event
The Action objective was to boost government and civil society organisations’ skills in designing effective information campaigns for the protection of the rights of migrant families with children.
On this account, European and local experts produced an ad-hoc handbook on communication campaign design, implementation and evaluation, as well as a targeted communication plan.
The production of the handbook and ad-hoc campaign were established after a thorough capacity and need assessment, exchange sessions with EU Member States on effective coordination among public authorities and civil society organisations and a workshop in Astana at the end of 2022.
The event was an occasion to present the concrete results, bringing together the partner authorities, representatives from Kazakh civil society and the European and local experts.
More than 40 participants took part in the online session and showed their enthusiasm and engagement to the project, with representatives from government institutions and civil society organisations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, the EU Delegation in Kazakhstan, European academia, public administration representatives from EU member states and ICMPD local offices.
Interventions from the event
Yourii Skaskevitch, Attaché at the Delegation of the European Union in Astana, opened the event and underlined how, within the variety of initiatives that the European Union undertakes in Central Asia, this campaign focusing on migrant families with children in Central Asia represents an important topic. The MIEUX+ Action Kazakhstan II contributes to address the educational aspect, by providing the tools to inform migrant families with children about their rights.
Radim Zak, Head of Region Eastern Europe and Central Asia, reminded that ICMPD collaboration with Kazakhstan dates back to 2004 and this second project implemented in the country through the MIEUX+ initiative represents the successful ongoing collaboration between the Kazakh government and ICMPD.
Yiannis Boutselis, MIEUX+ expert in communications from Greece, walked the audience through the handbook explaining the different steps of any communication campaign. He highlighted the importance of:
- designing through a clear strategy and set of objectives;
- implementing with the definition of the audience (user persona), the message and the channels;
- monitoring and evaluating by performing risk and impact assessments and collecting feedback.
In his own words, ‘The communications handbook is a comprehensive document describing the way to organise and implement an effective and targeted information campaign. It provides a model that can be adapted for any communication needs and we hope the Human Rights Commissioner of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the NGO Rodnik will make the most out of it.’
The communications plan that will follow
Askar Kereyev, MIEUX+ expert in communications from Kazakhstan, was responsible for the creation of the communication plan to be adopted and put in place by the Kazakh government and local NGOs. The main goal of the campaign is to inform migrant families with children about their rights in the country, and ways to legalise their status and that of their children. The campaign creates also the chance to shape a space that facilitates the exchanges of information on the protection of the rights and fulfillment of obligations.
Irregular migrants, NGOs and ethno-cultural associations, specialised media and bloggers were identified as target audience. The campaign should be held in big cities and borders and potentially in countries of origin of migrants, for at least a month through a varied set of channels, such as meetings, press releases and conferences, newsletters and blog posts, as well as leaflets.
As Kereyev pointed out ‘The general idea of this campaign is to promote respect for the rights of irregular migrant families with children. By successfully integrating them into the economy and society, the country can reap great benefits. Irregular migrants need to understand that by integrating their children into society, they can provide them with a better future.’
The government and the NGOs coalition are now empowered and equipped to tackle the challenges in this area, and they have expressed their interest on launching awareness raising campaigns at the regional level targeting migrants in their country of origin.