Public awareness campaign launched in Jamaica to protect vulnerable migrants
Jamaica - IOM Kingston is launching a public awareness campaign to promote safe migration, aimed at vulnerable Jamaicans likely to migrate, especially children.
The campaign includes a series of sensitization sessions with representatives from the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Ministry of Education, Youth Empowerment Officers and School Guidance Counselors.
The sessions will increase their awareness of the dangers of irregular migration, human trafficking and the vulnerability of children, while strengthening their capacity to carry the message to schools and communities to promote safe migration.
The campaign’s messages will appear in major newspapers such The Gleaner, with a daily circulation of 413,000 and a Sunday readership of 454,000, as well as The Weekend Star, which is read by some 400,000 Jamaicans. Flyers and posters will be placed in public places including schools, ministries and other government offices.
A comic strip will be included in the magazine Children's Own, which is distributed in schools. The comic tells the story of a mother who brings her daughter to the airport and asks a stranger to take her overseas. In the end she decides to pay for her child to travel with the airline’s unaccompanied minors programme.
“We are expecting to reach a very large portion of the population. The 30 counselors that attended the sensitization sessions will hold similar sessions in their local schools and spread the word to a minimum of 120,000 persons,” said Keisha Livermore, IOM Head of Office in Jamaica.
It is estimated that the number of Jamaican migrants living abroad is the same as those living on the island; approximately 2.7million.
Jamaica is a country of origin and transit, and the IOM Kingston campaign focuses on children left behind when both parents migrate; children migrating alone; youths (17-24) migrating to seek job opportunities with expectations that are not usually met; and parents who send their children overseas with strangers.
IOM Kingston partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to develop a communication strategy and to roll out each phase of the campaign. The campaign is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), as a part of the Caribbean Protecting Vulnerable Migrants project.
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