How to use communication to facilitate a safe, orderly and regular migration

How to use communication to facilitate a safe, orderly and regular migration


Irregular migration creates risks such as human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and different situations of violence and vulnerabilities. On the other hand, regular migration promotes the protection of human rights and facilitates the economic and social development of migrants, their families, and States, both of origin and destination. Access to information becomes a key component to promote regular, orderly and secure migration.

Campaigns are a tool to disseminate information or messages. However, institutional communication campaigns are usually unidirectional and without long-term impacts. Communication for Development (C4D) is proposed as an innovative methodology to achieve sustainable changes that affect the development of communities and states through evidence-based decisions and participatory processes.

C4D aims to promote behavioral changes, which goes beyond providing information, to inspire people to change the way they act. C4D is based on keeping the target audience as the basis of the solution, allowing a deeper understanding of the problem and related factors that can be used to motivate change

Based on IOMX's experience against human trafficking replicated in the Americas, we recommend 6 steps to implement a Communication for Development campaign in your initiatives related to prevention, awareness and information:

  • Step 1: Know your audience:

The starting point of a C4D campaign should not be the interests of an organization, but the needs of the target audience. To promote change, it is necessary to understand the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the population, as well as their habits, needs, concerns and motivations.

Keep in mind that there is a primary audience (the one that is expected to change attitude or behavior), a secondary (who can affect the attitude or behavior of the primary audience) and a tertiary (who can shape the attitudes and values ​​of a community more broadly).

Take for example, the case of women originating from a community of domestic workers who migrate irregularly. The campaign that seeks to prevent this situation should consider as a primary audience the workers who potentially wish to migrate, their relatives and friends as a secondary audience, and the tertiary audience as the local leaders and government or, the target communities that need to raise awareness about their role in this problem. This will make the execution of specific and personalized actions for each audience possible.

  • Step 2: Know how to best reach your audience:

Identify the channels and strategies that can best appeal to your audience. One of the first steps to achieve this point is to create ‘SMART’ goals, that is, goals that are 1) specific; 2) measurable; 3) attainable; 4) relevant; and 5) timely.

Returning to the example of potential migrant women workers, if the broadcast budget is limited, the use of community radio and television channels, local face-to-face information activities and networks of organizations could be considered.

  • Step 3: Revise and adjust the strategy:

At this stage the messages and products that will be disseminated will be developed later. But it is always necessary to validate them before launching them. This way it is possible to ensure that the messages are well understood and accepted by the target audience. The messages should always be clear, direct, positive and contain “calls for action”.

If it is about the potential women migrant workers, check with them that the correct language is being used, if the message is clear or if there are elements that are offensive or outside their context.

  • Step 4: Implement the campaign:

Once the messages have been validated with your target audience, it is time to launch the campaign. Try to keep all the actors who contributed to the process involved, from donors to community leaders and government, in order to establish bonds of trust and transparency.

It is necessary that you register the campaign implementation activities, as they will be useful for the next point.

  • Step 5: Monitor y evaluate the campaign's success:

As in any project that aims to be sustainable and successful over time, Communication for Development requires monitoring and evaluation to identify possible corrections in the strategy to help achieve its objectives within the previously established parameters of time and resources.

If your organization requires the implementation of a Communication for Development campaign, feel free to contact and Learn more about the communication services offered by the regional office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean here.

How will COVID-19 affect the achievement of the goals of the 2030 Agenda?

How will COVID-19 affect the achievement of the goals of the 2030 Agenda?
Categoria: Migration Governance
Autor: Laura Thompson


There is no doubt that the current pandemic has a broad humanitarian, social and economic impact in the short, medium and long term, which in turn may affect or delay the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at different levels and in various ways.

The most evident impact, obviously, is on Goal 3, which seeks to guarantee a healthy life and promote well-being. The pandemic has put enormous pressures on health systems not only in relation to the treatment and management of the virus, but also affecting the ability to care for patients who have other diseases and increasing the risk of complications in populations with compromised health states. The pandemic has given greater visibility to the importance of universal access to health systems regardless of people's migratory status. However, the pandemic will also have implications for other aspects of the 2030 Agenda.


Impacts beyond health

COVID-19 is also having a negative impact on the employment, economic and social situation of many households around the world, and on their ability to meet their needs, even the most basic ones. The economic crisis that the countries of the region are facing and the growing unemployment will be decisive in this regard, since apart from the pandemic, Latin America and the Caribbean reached an unemployment rate of 8.1% at the end of 2019, according to the International Labor Organization. And according to ECLAC projections, labor unemployment will rise to 11.5% in the same region, as a result of the contraction of economic activity by COVID-19.

Unemployment and the loss of purchasing power affect more severely migrant populations, since they are very often employed in the informal sector of the economy and have more precarious contractual working conditions, particularly women migrant workers. In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, informal work engages around 50% of the total number of people employed. The increase in unemployment will impact the scope of Goal 8 (on full and productive employment and decent work for all), but also Goal 1 (the fight against poverty), Goal 2 (the eradication of hunger, food security and better nutrition), Goal 5 (gender equality and empowerment of women and girls), and targets 5.2, 8.7 and 16.2, on trafficking and exploitation of people. ECLAC also emphasizes that Latin America and the Caribbean is already suffering a fall of -5.3% in GDP, the worst in its history.

Likewise, this pandemic could accentuate existing inequalities in societies, as well as the vulnerabilities of certain population groups, and consequently delay the achievement of Goal 10, which seeks to reduce inequalities between and within countries. In this context, migrants are one of those vulnerable groups that have been particularly affected by the pandemic and that are often left behind or forgotten in social protection and economic relaunch plans, or have limited access to them, either because of language barriers or because of their immigration status. All of this despite the enormous contribution that migrant workers make to the operation of essential basic services in many countries, as has become evident during this crisis.

Additionally, a decrease in the amount of international remittances is projected, which, according to the World Bank, would be reduced between 10% and 19.3% by 2020. Remittances are a fundamental component in the economy of some countries in the region, where they can amount to between 5% and 20% of the national Gross Domestic Product. A significant reduction in remittances would jeopardize the ability of many households in those countries to meet their most basic needs and their ability to invest in improving nutrition, education, and reducing child labor, among others, further emphasizing existing inequalities.

Finally, at the state level, due to the economic slowdown we are experiencing and urgent health needs, it is very likely that there will be a decrease in social spending or a reorientation of available resources, potentially at the expense of the more comprehensive vision contained in the Sustainable Development Goals, again affecting the scope of the transversal objectives of the 2030 Agenda.


Recovery and SDGs: the same path

But this should not lead us to pessimism and to think that we have lost the fight to achieve the SDGs. On the contrary, it is essential at this time to work together and forcefully to identify the additional difficulties that the current pandemic presents in achieving the 2030 Agenda. We must redouble our commitment and our efforts to ensure that the impact of the pandemic is incorporated into national plans and international assistance, as well as that the different realities and vulnerabilities of some specific groups are incorporated.

For this we must work from now on to ensure the universal attention of the health and education systems; in reducing remittance transfer costs (a topic included in Goal 10), as El Salvador is already doing, creating more resilient and inclusive cities in line with Goal 11 or strengthening forms of regular migration for migrant workers and decent working conditions (Goal 8).

The time is now: all organizations, governments and individuals have an important role in ensuring that the efforts for our Latin American region and the world to recover from the serious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are aligned with the 2030 Agenda and that we make sure we do not leave anyone behind.