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12 December 2018

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Photo: IOM/Alioune Ndiaye

Migrants as Messengers: Communities Meet to Share, Discuss Migration Experiences

Dakar (IPS) – Communities in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, have been meeting across the city to watch a 45-minute documentary film made by returnee migrants, with support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM is running a unique Migrants as Messengers (MaM) programme in Senegal, Guinea and Nigeria. It is a peer to peer messaging campaign that shares the dangers of irregular migration as told through the stories of returnee migrants.

IOM has trained 80 returnee migrants in these three countries on how to interview and collect the stories of fellow returnee migrants. The campaign also uses innovative mobile technology to empower migrants to share their experiences and to provide a platform for others to do the same.

The town hall screenings are also part of the campaign. They offer the community and returnee migrants a unique platform to share their stories as a participatory approach is used and the film is followed by a debate, in French and the local language, Wolof.

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A Year in Pictures: Migration

Photo: AFP/Getty Images/Pedro Pardo

TIME: A group of Central American migrants near the El Chaparral crossing in Tijuana climb the fence between Mexico and the US on November 25, a day of turmoil at the border.

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Reuters/Edgard Garrido

CNN:  A woman holds a bag as she and other migrants board a freight train in Irapuato, Mexico.

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“The first thing I took was the landap that my grandparents gave me. I must protect it because it represents the Maranao tribe.”

Abdul Jabar Dimalna – Internally displaced from Marawi City to Lanao del Norte, Philippines

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Barbara and Chaqir: "Being different is not something bad. It adds to the lives of people that you meet."

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  • Xinhua reported that Mediterranean migrant arrivals to Europe have topped the 100,000 threshold for the fifth straight year, although the figure is lower compared to previous years.

  • IISD reported that the International Peace Institute has called for internally displaced persons to be specifically mentioned as a vulnerable group that must be empowered through efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • The Gulf Today, MENAFN and UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News reported that the United Arab Emirates and IOM will implement a comprehensive orientation programme for expatriate workers in the Gulf state.

  • Leinster Express published remarks from Ireland’s Justice Minister in Marrakech, where he stated that his country is a ‘global island that had benefitted from migration’. The Minister acknowledged the work of multilateral agencies in providing assistance and support to displaced populations in need.

  • IRIN News reported on a number of local initiatives that are helping internally displaced South Sudanese rebuild their lives.

  • Sudan Tribune reported that Sudanese security forces captured four human traffickers who were preparing to take 57 foreign nationals towards the Libyan border.

  • Rudaw reported that Erbil, Iraq, is one of the worldwide hosts of IOM’s third Global Migration Film Festival. GMFF there highlighted experiences of displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region.

  • Nairobi News and Kenyans reported that the Mombasa Youth Convention and the Global Migration Film Festival, held in partnership with IOM, showcased various talents and films from the region as a way to use art to build resilient communities.

  • Thomson Reuters Foundation reported that in a bid to kickstart hope and growth, Moldova has found a way to lure home migrant workers and embed a small pocket of entrepreneurship in the once-communist country. 

  • South China Morning Post ran a story on Singapore’s first migrant festival, an event which the organizer hopes will educate Singaporeans about migrants and inspire compassion.

  • Gallup reported that while many countries are turning migrants away, Japan's demographic woes are forcing it to turn to migrants to help solve the country's labour shortages. Japanese lawmakers have passed a law that allows more foreign workers to come to the country, starting next year.

  • BBC featured the work of photographer Hermann Rodrigues who—after moving in 1990 from Northwest India—began taking photos of everything in Scotland with links to South Asia. He now has a collection of some 30,000 photographs.