MADE’s Webinar - Telling a different story of migration


On June 9th 2016, the Europe Chapter of MADE hosted a webinar on the important role of civil society and other non-State actors (including NGOs, diaspora and migrant-led organisations, academics, media etc.) as well as non-traditional actors such as local governments in changing the current narrative on migrants and migration and in “lifting the images of migrants and diaspora as bearers of culture, diversity and development” (see Civil Society Recommendation 5 on xenophobia and social exclusion from the 2015 GFMD).

With the High Level Meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants coming up in September, and with the global campaign that the UN Secretary General mentioned in his related report to ‘change the toxic narrative on refugees and migrants’, 2017 is shaping up to be a very active year on this issue.

Indeed, with the increase in global migration, as well as floundering migration management policies, there has been a concurrent increase in suspicion and fear among the citizens and governments of receiving countries, often translating into increased xenophobia and discrimination towards migrants and diaspora communities. In the face of this misplaced negativity and fear, there is now, more than ever, the need to find creative ways to provide exposure to diaspora and migrants’ contributions to development, hence the interest of this webinar.

To open the discussion, two initiatives were presented:

  • Myth-busting” tool “Deconstructing 10 Myths on Migration and Development” presented by Sophie Ngo-Diep (ICMC Europe/MADE) and Tiguida Camara (FORIM). Here is the video displayed at the end of this presentation.
  • Global Diaspora Day presented by Stella Opoku-Owusu (AFFORD): Organised by AFFORD and MADE Network (through the MADE Working Group on Diaspora and Migrants in Development). Global Diaspora Day is presented in the form of a virtual platform to begin fruitful discussions about how we promote positive diaspora and migrant narratives.

The participants showed a great involvement in the exchanges and brought valuable input into the discussions, around important issues such as engaging with local authorities and the media, ‘tailoring’ projects to particular cultural contexts, and how to engage with larger global processes such as the upcoming UN-led campaign to counter-xenophobia and the upcoming High-Level Meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants. Moreover, the discussions helped shape and pave the way for discussions during the Brainstorming Session that took place on 16 June during the European Development Days in Brussels.

If you wish to (re)visit some moments of our discussion, a recording of the webinar is available online.

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