UN Migration Agency Launches Mobile App for Migrants in Mesoamerica
San José – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has launched the MigrantApp, the first pilot of an IOM global initiative to provide information to facilitate regular, safe and orderly migration using mobile devices. The MigrantApp provides reliable, rapid, safe and free information in three languages on governmental, private and civil society services for migrants. The app, which has been available for over two weeks, has been downloaded by more than 700 users so far.
The MigrantApp facilitates access to information on more than 1,500 georeferenced centres where migrants can receive assistance or information. The application also offers tips on regular and orderly migration, alerts on risks related to irregular migration and the option to answer mini surveys safely, thus, fostering migrant empowerment.
“Mesoamerica is one of the main migratory corridors in the world. The necessary information that migrants need to move in a regular, dignified and safe manner is dispersed. Reaching correct information is a challenge, mainly due to the massive amount of misleading information usually generated by smugglers. The application’s objective is to bring accurate information closer to the migrants who need it,” explained Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM Central America, North America, and the Caribbean.
“The MigrantApp offers easy-to-use and free information, including reliable facts, corroborated with the institutions and organizations that offer migratory procedures, and health, employment, security services. We are aiming to protect migrants transiting the region,” said Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of IOM’s Mesoamerica Program, the project that developed this initiative.
The confidentiality of users’ information is based on IOM’s data protection principles. Also, each user can decide if he or she authorizes the application to use the GPS on their mobile device.
Besides benefiting migrants, the MigrantApp will serve institutions, both public and private, as it provides them easy access to the contact information of similar organizations in other places or countries.
The MigrantApp is initially available for download from Google Play for Android devices. Apple device users will be able to download the application later this month. The application can also be found at www.vengasdedondevengas.com
The MigrantApp was developed as part of IOM’s Mesoamerica Program, financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the Department of State of the United States of America. The objective of the programme is to strengthen the capacities of governments and civil society organizations to improve the protection of and assistance to migrants in situations of vulnerability.
Information and Services Provided in the MigrantApp
- Protection and Assistance: Information on health centres, consulates and embassies, migration offices, human rights protection centres, as well as centres that offer shelter. It also includes information regarding training and employment, specific assistance for vulnerable groups of people such as women, children and victims of trafficking in persons, as well as assistance programmes for migrants.
- Migration Information: Information on the requirements to enter countries in Mesoamerica for 27 nationalities.
- Remittances: Compares the options available to migrants to send money.
- My Route: Allows users to share their route in real time, in a private manner, with anyone they approve.
- News: Updated relevant information about migration on the news of the country in which the migrant is, alerts in case of emergencies such as hurricanes and epidemics, and important events in the area.
For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5300, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org