A constantly evolving awareness-raising campaign: "Aware Migrants"
Lessons learnt from the Aware Migrants Information Campaign
The “Aware Migrants” information campaign was designed to raise awareness among migrants and their communities about the risks of irregular migration along African routes across the desert and the Mediterranean Sea. Between 2016 and 2023, the project was implemented in 11 countries of North and West Africa reaching out to over 530,000 people in countries of origin and countries of transit.
Contributing to changing behaviours
The project addressed the topic of migration on both individual and community levels to contribute to a possible change in mentalities, perceptions and intentions.
Adapting to the needs
The campaign worked resolutely on information and prevention but it also worked on social cohesion and assistance. It responded to specific needs and was tailored to the context of each country taking into consideration the cultural and the linguistic specificities, the migratory trends, differentiating countries of origin from countries of transit, and the political and social environments.
Reaching the communities
The campaign was based on several pillars:
- Unbranded, from migrants to migrants and communities. Indeed, whenever possible, the campaign was promoted without the use of institutional logos to facilitate direct interaction among the target groups, putting at the heart of the project real stories of migrants
- From a digital to a grassroot approach;
- A multi-channel dissemination approach promoting innovative community-focused initiatives such as artistic events, concerts, competitions in schools, participatory theatre, chess and football tournaments, cooking events, photography courses, festivals, and widespread awareness raising in markets and community meeting places;
- Capacity to scale down and to scale up according to the audience;
- Engaging communities including families, returnees, migrants in transit, governmental and non-governmental stakeholders;
- Involving agents of change, including youth, influencers, media professionals, and journalists;
- Addressing cross-cutting issues such as gender equality and partnerships.
A constantly evolving campaign
Through the years, the project evolved. It was built on recommendations and lessons learned, and itcontinued to innovate whenever there was an opportunity. It created synergies with other IOM campaigns as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, the Migrants as Messengers project, IOM X and CinemArena.
Aware Migrants was funded by the Italian Ministry of the Interior with specific support from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Ministry of the Interior.