IOM Joins Forces with UK Partners to Tackle Negative Perceptions of Migrants
United Kingdom - IOM has joined forces with the United Kingdom’s Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), which coordinates the Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX), in its UK-wide “I Am An Immigrant” poster campaign. The campaign aims to humanize the debate on migration and highlights the vital contributions migrants make to society in the run up to the UK General Election in early May.
IOM will join JCWI in promoting the campaign’s message and at the same time promote its own #MigrantHeroes initiative, which also seeks to change the lens through which people view migration by providing evidence of its positive side, through the voices of migrants themselves. The goal of both campaigns is to induce an open and inclusive conversation about migration policy built on human rights and equality.
The campaign, launched in London earlier this week, comprises 15 posters which have now been displayed across national rail and London Underground stations. Photographed by Vogue photographer Philip Volkers, they show immigrants with diverse backgrounds, ranging from a comedian to a mental health nurse, from around the world.
The posters consist of a photograph of the individual with their name and occupation, entitled “I am an Immigrant”, and have a simple quote outlining their contribution to British society. For example: “I am a mental health nurse and for 15 years I have been helping people with depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.”
The “I Am An Immigrant” website, also unveiled this week, provides individuals with the opportunity to share their migration story and become a part of the campaign through their own poster, generated automatically on the website.
The site will also provide those interested in being considered for the #MigrantHeroes nomination to become an IOM Goodwill Ambassador, with the opportunity to share information on their experiences as a migrant. IOM will select three #MigrantHeroes from the nominations, who will be announced in November 2015 at the IOM Council, and who will be invited to act as IOM Goodwill Ambassadors.
Speaking at the launch, IOM spokesperson Itayi Viriri said: “This campaign which will significantly add to our efforts in challenging and dispelling the many myths and misconceptions about migrants. Too often, migration is viewed as a problem and the subsequent risk is that immigration policies in many countries are shaped by fears and misconceptions, rather than by facts.”
The “I Am An Immigrant” campaign was made possible through crowd funding which enabled JCWI to raise £54,101, with over 1,500 people donating money and over 39,000 people viewing the campaign social media sites within a three-week period.
To find out more about the #MigrantHeroes campaign, please click here and for more on “I Am An Immigrant” campaign click here.