Jacinta Astles

Jacinta Astles

Jacinta holds a Bachelor of Communication and International Studies and a Master in Gender and Peacebuilding. She has worked with refugee and migrant populations in Australia and Costa Rica. She is currently part of the Communications Team for the IOM Regional Office for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Intersecting discriminations: migrants facing racism

Alongside forms of discrimination based on gender, class, disability and other characteristics, racism can have a significant impact on the way migrants are perceived and treated. Racism can be understood as any theory, doctrine, ideology, or sets of ideas that create links between genetic or physical characteristics individuals or groups with their intellectual, cultural, and personality traits, including the false concept of racial superiority. Racism tends to gener<alize about a group of people by associating certain characteristics (such as skin colour) with negative traits.

What is the impact of COVID-19 on LGBTI migrants?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) migrants may face intersecting discriminations: both as migrants as well as on the basis of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. It is important that measures are put in place to ensure that these populations have equal access to public health and safety services, and assistance to overcome the socio-economic impacts of the crisis. Here are some of the specific challenges that LGBTI migrants may have to overcome.

Difficulties in accessing healthcare services

To combat xenophobia, we must innovate and collaborate. IOM has implemented a number of successful initiatives to combat xenophobia in the region, particularly through Community Outreach and Communication Campaigns. Community outreach projects involve the creation of events and activities that strengthen bonds between migrants and host communities. Our communication campaigns have a wider reach but are also interactive; we collaborate with migrants to share their stories on our platforms. The list below outlines some of the initiatives carried out:

“We were afraid”: Testimonies from the first Migrant Caravan of 2020

The first migrant caravan of 2020 made headlines as reports and videos of clashes between migrants and the Mexican National Guard caught the attention of the region and the world. The caravan departed San Pedro Sula, Honduras on 14th January. As it headed through Guatemala and towards Mexico, it was reported to have mobilized more than 4,000 members.

Migrant Caravans: Explained

What are migrant caravans?

The term ‘migrant caravans’ emerged as a way to describe the large groups of people moving by land across international borders. Migrant caravans from Northern Central America have increased in number and frequency since 2018.

At each stage of a person's migration process, whether at the destination, transit, origin or return, they are likely to be treated differently according to their gender identity. Understanding migration from a gender perspective offers States tools to guarantee and protect the rights of migrants of all gender identities.

Integrating a gender mainstreaming approach to policies associated with migration issues is essential. These policies are also linked to the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including, for example:

Stereotypes exist in all societies. They may seem harmless, but they can actually cause real damage to the lives of the people that they target. Simplistic and misleading ideas about migrant women have the potential to restrict the opportunities and services available to them.

What is a stereotype?

A stereotype refers to a commonly held but overly simple image or idea about a person or social category, such as race, ethnicity, gender or religion, among others. They are often used by one group to position themselves as more superior than another.

How do migrants contribute to society?

Phyllisia Ross, Isabel Allende, Rodney Wallace. Three migrants making creative and inspiring contributions to their communities. And they’re not alone.

Integrating into a new place is a multidimensional and complicated process. In the region covered by the Central American Integration System (SICA), migrants are likely to face numerous barriers in accessing education and healthcare. They may experience discrimination, and struggle to reintegrate when they return to their countries of origin, according to a new study by SICA, in collaboration with IOM and UNHCR.

An increasing number of women are migrating independently from Central America and the Caribbean. Women represent 58.9 per cent of migrants from Caribbean countries and 50.3 percent from Central America. Moving abroad offers a range of potential opportunities and challenges, which are impacted by a person’s gender in complex and multifaceted ways.