UN Launches Campaign against Xenophobia in Ecuador

Quito – The United Nations System in Ecuador last week (14-03) launched Abrazos que Unen, an awareness campaign that seeks to generate empathy towards refugees and migrants in the country. 

Abrazos que Unen is the result of regional efforts developed to generate empathy and demystify xenophobic discourses. In other Latin America countries, similar campaigns such as Somos Panas, Mi Causa es tu Causa, and Somos lo Mismo in Colombia, Peru and Panama were launched respectively. 

Through the hashtag and website of the campaign, the UN System will share positive life stories about the social integration of refugees and migrants in Ecuador. The stories will show how local people support refugees and migrants while describing how they contribute positively to their host communities.

After the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people from different nationalities to the country, the resurgence of discriminatory discourses that strengthen negative stereotypes was identified. During 2018, more than 954,000 Venezuelan people entered Ecuador, from that population 20 per cent remained in the country.  

In December 2018, some data provided by IOM´s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in Ecuador revealed that from 2,657 Venezuelans who participated in this study, 46 per cent had suffered discrimination, and 15 per cent experienced some kind of physical or verbal violence during their migratory process. 

Abrazos que Unen seeks to appeal to the solidarity and hospitality that characterize the Ecuadorian population. During the past 30 years, more than 68,000 people were recognized as refugees in the country, the highest number in Latin America.

Another objective of this campaign is to show refugees and migrants as self-sufficient and independent, and to highlight the positive impact of the integration of two or more cultures. When refugees and migrants are integrated into the country, both can benefit from the creation of new bonds that contribute to the growth of society.

The UN hopes that Abrazos Que Unen can serve as a base for the development of activities in favour of integration and peaceful coexistence among refugees, migrants and their host communities.

Here the link to www.abrazosqueunen.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter 

For more information please contact at IOM, Carolina Celi, Tel: + 593 993586981, Email: cceli@oim.int or

William Spindler, ACNUR, Tel: +507 69290257 Tel: +41 79 2173011, Email: spindler@unhcr.org

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