International Organization for Migration (IOM) / The UN Migration Agency reports that every fourth citizen of Central Asia is a migrant. Migrants frequently appear in various regional mass media outlets, but how to ensure their proper and accurate portrayal? To answer that question IOM in partnership with Internews Kazakhstan and Civil Society Development Association “ARGO” organized a training for media representatives and NGOs with the theme «Raising awareness of migrants on their rights ». The training took place in Almaty during February 27 – March 1 2019, with 36 attendees representing journalists and NGOs from across Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The regional training aimed to build the capacity of public and private media representatives to highlight key issues in the field of migration, promote positive image of migrants and raise awareness of migrants on their rights, the risks associated with migration and the precautions to be taken throughout the entire migration process based on the experience of NGOs working in this field.
The training commenced with info sessions held by migration experts and was followed by sessions from Internews Kazakhstan editors and journalists – Yerzhan Suleimenov, Zarina Akhmatova, Anna Sukhacheva, Marina Mikhtayeva,invited coaches – freelance video-producer Marat Sadykov, as well as the head of the “Institute of Media Standards” Public Foundation Kamila Zhusupova.
According to media experts, clickbait headlines, stigmatization, migrants’ appearance in crime news and statistical distortions with regard to migrants contribute to the negative portrayal of migrants in mass media. “Drop the word “Problem”. Migrants do not constitute a probleminherently. The temptation to view migration as a problem is part of stigmatization and negative portrayal in mass media”, - says Yerzhan Suleimenov, Programme Director at Internews Kazakhstan.
Based on the knowledge and skills acquired during the training, participants developed and pitched their own media projects, and the most promising ones received media grants:
“Children of migrants”. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan.
A multimedia project in four languages (Kazakh, Russian, Tajik and Kyrgyz), which tells a story about physical and psychological problems of migrants’ children. It is expected to cover both positive and negative aspects of their lives.
#Transitmigrant (#ТРАНЗИТМИГРАНТ). Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan.
An information campaign, that aims to raise awareness of migrants from Uzbekistan on the risks of cross border movements on their way to Russia. Project activities will include informational-legal materials, stories’ coverage in three languages, creating Social Media accounts and pages, TV and Radio broadcasting, webinars, and an interactive map showing migrants host spots, etc.
“Bahchy kyz”. Kyrgyzstan
Longread and video reportage about minor girls from Kyrgyzstan that work as nannies in Russia.
“From Tashkent to Shymkent”. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan.
In partnership with two NGOs, the project team will showcase stories of people about how difficult or easy it is to be a regular migrant from Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan. The goal of the project is to show legal ways of Uzbekistan’s migrants’ employments inKazakhstan.
Media campaign on awareness-raising among Tajikistan residents . Tajikistan.
A cycle of online and offline developments aimed at disseminating reliable information to those who are planning labor migration to the Russian Federation via popular channels in the country.
The training “Raising Awareness of Migrants on Their Rights” is organized within the framework of the IOM project “Asia Regional Migration Program” funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM USA).