The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has organised an online campaign – the Aware Migrants campaign – with the aim to inform migrants from 15 countries – mostly in West Africa plus Tunisia and Egypt – about the dangers of migrating irregularly across the Sahara desert, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea.
The campaign – through social media, in particular Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter – aims to give migrants the opportunity to exchange opinions and experiences, share pictures, videos and other types of testimonies gathered throughout the journey. Thirty-one video testimonies, from migrants who have made the journey, have been produced so far and have been disseminated through social media.
Flavio Di Giacomo and Shiraz Jerbi, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, the UN Migration Agency will host an online press conference on Wednesday March 15 at 10am GMT.
Below are the details about the online campaign:
When: Wednesday, March 15 at 10am GMT
Who: Flavio Di Giacomo and Shiraz Jerbi, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean
Why: Launch of Aware Migrants in Countries of Origin and Transit
How it works: This service is free and only requires a computer connected to the internet.
Those wishing to take part can register online.
So far in 2017, 19,567 migrants arrived by sea to Italy and after the latest shipwreck this past weekend, 521 have died at sea – 50 more compared to the same period in 2016. The majority of these migrants are from Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal and Gambia – same as in 2016.
Some of the migrants who make it to Europe and share their ordeal with IOM, reveal that their journey was far more dangerous than expected. Many are unaware of the dangers and risks of migrating with the assistance of smugglers, not only at sea or in the desert, but also in transit countries like Libya. Recalling the life-threatening risks along their journey is often very distressing and in many instances, most migrants wish to forget and move forward with their lives and therefore tend not to share their experience with peers who are still back home.