Communication for Development Campaigns Address How Migration Information Needs Changed in the Face of the Pandemic in Mexico and Central America
Employment in 24 hours, "a coyote" that guarantees arrival to the North, or an intermediary that offers immediate regularization are ideas that may sound very attractive to people looking to improve their quality of life as migrants or potential migrants. When searching for options and amid all the uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in migration policies, people usually take decisions on migration without all the tools.
It is in this context that more than 110 government institutions, civil society organizations and community leaders in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented their Communication for Development campaigns in August and September 2021. These initiatives were developed through evidence-based and participatory strategies that included more than 2,000 people from all communities involved for baselines, creations, and validations.
"Our goal is to make it easier for people to access the tools to make informed decisions about their migration projects, from their community of origin to their destination, thus avoiding scams, risks and human rights violations. Finally, the goal is always to promote orderly and safe migration in the region", said Alexandra Bonnie, from the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean.
"Think Twice" aims for migrants and potential migrants to learn to recognize fake offers and news related to human trafficking, labour exploitation and other risks associated with irregular migration. The campaign has been adapted to different contexts in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama.
Jeffry Rosales, a young spokesperson for the campaign in El Salvador, said that "as youth, we are exposed to countless dangers. The disinformation that exists is very worrying".
The themes of the campaigns correspond to the information needs of each country and based on this, different community products and activities were developed with the creativity, context and needs of each community. The products range from music videos performed by youth from the communities of El Salvador and Honduras, or in indigenous languages for Guatemala, social experiments, short films, testimonies and digital animation videos. For more information visit: https://somoscolmena.info/es/piensalo2veces
In Costa Rica, the campaign "Updated Papers" was launched to encourage migrants with family ties to Costa Ricans (sons, daughters, or spouses) to regularize their migratory status. In coordination with the Directorate-General for Migration and Aliens, the campaign is based on the testimonies of Iveth and Maria Elena, migrants who reside in Costa Rica and managed to complete their regularization process through family ties with Costa Ricans, and the benefits this has brought to their lives. More information here: https://somoscolmena.info/es/PapelesAlDia. In addition, the communities involved will receive support in their migratory regularization process through visits to the "Migramóviles" to open and follow-up cases.
IOM implements these Communication for Development (C4D) processes through the successful methodology used by IOMX. All these campaigns are available on https://somoscolmena.info/en . "Somos Colmena" by IOMX is being implemented under IOM’s Western Hemisphere Program. The project is generously funded by the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
For more information please contact Tatiana Chacón at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. E-mail: email@example.com