IOM Launches Virtual Community on Risks of Irregular Migration in Central America

Posted: 
08/16/16
Themes: 
Integrated Border Management, Migration and Youth

Costa Rica - A new virtual community InformArte en Movimiento (Information on the Move) will be launched tomorrow (17/8) in Central America to empower border communities, especially youth, to reduce irregular migration, protect human rights and strengthen migrant access to assistance. The platform is on Facebook (InformArte en Movimiento) and Twitter (@Infomovimiento).

Over 60 percent of migrants who send remittances to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are under 30 years old. In 2013, at least 40,000 children and adolescents migrated unaccompanied from Central America to the United States. The number rose to nearly 70,000 in 2014. As a result, through its Mesoamerica Programme, IOM is focusing on the protection and assistance of young migrants in the region.

As a virtual initiative with a community focus, InformArte en Movimiento allows users to access information and share their migration-related experiences and initiatives.

The virtual community’s vital contribution to protecting migrants will be the participation of people in the towns that are most vulnerable to irregular migration. To promote this participation, the project will engage the most vulnerable communities with a festival, on 17 August, which will tour through Malacatán and Concepcion Tutuapa in Guatemala, Auachapán in El Salvador, Tenosique and Ciudad Hidalgo in Mexico and Comayagua and Nacaome in Honduras.

Through colorful visual displays, games, and art, this festival will engage communities where there is a high level of migrant transit. IOM has developed the festival with Caja Lúdica, a group that specializes in effective learning through art.

The festival also includes workshops with local teenagers and young people. They will learn about communication tools, use of social media and citizen journalism in order to actively generate information from their very own experiences on how to avoid irregular migration and its risks, using InformArte en Movimiento channels.

To measure the impact of these activities, IOM will use its innovative ‘Community Response Map’ tool to gather demographic data and assess how people understand the messages.

This initiative is part of the Mesoamerica Program, implemented by IOM with funding from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. The Mesoamerica Program seeks to enhance the capacities for protection and assistance to vulnerable migrants in the region.

For further information please contact Alexandra Bonnie at IOM San Jose, Costa Rica, Tel: (506) 2212-5321, Email: abonnie@iom.int