Communication & Migration

The current outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 is, above all, a health problem. However, it also has unprecedented consequences for mobility, as it has involved changes in the management of migration and borders, and in the situations of migrants.

Central America is one of the most dynamic migratory corridors in the world. Migrants that come from as far away as Africa and Asia pass through this region; from countries in neighboring regions such as Haiti, Cuba and Venezuela; migrants who leave the countries of northern Central America and Mexico seeking to enter the United States; Nicaraguans who arrive in Costa Rica and Ngäbe Bugle Indians who move from Panama, many of whom go to work in the coffee harvest and then return to their regions of origin.

The world is full of communication campaigns, each competing for the attention of a particular audience and hoping to increase people's understanding and awareness of a topic. However, the creation of these campaigns usually follows institutional and one-dimensional communication lines that rarely incorporate real impact measurement mechanisms.

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:

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 to use communication to facilitate a safe, orderly and regular 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.

Responding to hate speech against migrants in social media: What can you do?

"We all have to remember that hate crimes are preceded by hate speech." This is how Adama Dieng, UN's Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, starts the Stopping Hate Speech video. "We have to bear in mind that words kill. Words kill as bullets", he continued.

According to the World Migration Report 2018, media, in all its forms, plays a significant role in the framing of policy discourses that affect how people act, what people think, how policymakers prioritize agendas, and how migrants make decisions. Given this, it raises the question: How should journalists and media professionals approach a complicated and diverse issue such as Migration?


The surge of information and the variety of sources makes it difficult for migrants to access reliable and pertinent information, this can result in an increase of vulnerability of those who move to another country.