Washington, DC – Last week (12/11), the Organization of American States (OAS) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, launched the media campaign Migrants Count in the Americas, which will focus on recognizing the contributions of migrants to sustainable development in countries of origin as well as destination and highlight the importance of their inclusion in the communities where they live.
The launch event, held at the Hall of the Americas at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, was opened by the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, the Deputy Director General of the IOM, Laura Thompson, and the Chair of the Committee on Migration Issues of the OAS, Wendy Acevedo.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Thompson stated that migration has helped improve people’s lives in both origin and destination countries and has offered opportunities for millions of people worldwide to forge safe and meaningful lives abroad.
She also highlighted that migration is inevitable, and that “human mobility is expected to increase and nearly double in the near future.”
However, she expressed concern over “the worrying rise in discrimination, xenophobia, exclusion, and human rights violations of migrants throughout the world.”
Ambassador Thompson applauded the efforts of the OAS to counter the toxic narrative and instead promote the multiple benefits of migration through a media campaign.
Through the Migrants Count media campaign, the OAS seeks to promote a positive image of migrants in and from the Americas, identifying them as agents of development in countries of origin and destination.
Over the next months, the OAS will disseminate available official data on the contributions of migrants to sustainable development in their countries of origin and destination. The campaign also aims to support the United Nations’ Together campaign to promote respect for migrants and their safety and dignity, counteracting xenophobia and discrimination.
In Washington DC, the IOM office will also take part in the Migrants Count media campaign by collecting success stories of migrants in the Americas and hosting regular Facebook live interviews with the aim to change negative perceptions of, and attitudes toward, migrants and to strengthen the social contract among receiving countries and communities.
Stories, data and other content from the Migrants Count campaign will be widely disseminated on social media using the hashtag #MigrantsCount (#migrantescuentan in Spanish).
For more information, please contact Hajer Naili at IOM Washington, Tel: +1 202-568-3757, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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