Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project Sub-Regional Workshop About Improving Communication on Migration for Local Governance
Organized within the scope of the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project, the sub-regional workshop about improving communication on migration for local governance took place on 18-19 September, under the auspices of Tunis Municipality. The event brought together specialists in communications, cities and city associations; to create a new perspective on the issue of migration.
The two-day event was a chance to identify key challenges, opportunities for local-level communication, to develop an exchange on good practices and to extract key lessons for progress in the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM).
The event was organized in partnership with UCLG, the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and UN-HABITAT, with an aim to improve the integration of migrants at the city level in the southern Mediterranean region, while applying human rights principles during the integration process. In the second phase of the Project
(2018-2021), cities will use their unique role to enhance the benefits of migration at the local and national levels.
The workshop participants drew attention to the fact that there was hostility towards immigrants in some countries and societies, and that it was the responsibility of all levels of governance to reverse these negative stories that had been built around immigrants. Local and regional governments, as the closest level of government to the people, are in the best position to coordinate local efforts to change this perception, thanks to their daily contact with local realities.
During the workshop, participants also discussed many topics, such as the lack of real information at the local level, difficulties in reaching the target audience, and challenges related to the resources needed to communicate, in the form of some challenges to both integration and communication.
In parallel to the workshop, the Migration Media Awards ceremony was organized with its second edition, as an initiative funded by the European Commission under the EuroMed Migration Program. The overall goal of the award is to reward and promote journalistic excellence on migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The second day of the meetings focused on more realistic strategies and tools for local communication on migration, with participants identifying mechanisms to recognize migration opportunities
Muhammed Mahli, UCLG-MEWA Senior Project Officer and Coordinator of Migration Working Group, participated in the workshop, representing the organization. He gave a detailed presentation on the activities and projects of UCLG-MEWA in the field of migration. He also participated in the discussions during the workshop on challenges, obstacles to integrating migrants, in addition to the opportunities that exist in this context, and the effective role of migrants in building and developing host communities.