Migration: We shape it the way we frame it

Save the date: 14 December - IncluCities Facebook live event

Online discussion on how to change the way we frame migration

Facebook live in the context of the International Migrants Day (18 December)

14 December, 11:00 -11:45 IncluCities Facebook event Page

On 18 December 1990, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.  A decade later, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants Day. Nowadays, celebrations all over the world highlight the contributions made by the roughly 272 million migrants globally, including more than 41 million internally displaced persons. Although migration is a common feature of human beings since the beginning of our history, it has become one of the clashing issues that divide nations as well as local communities. 

Europe is facing a growing political climate in which foreigners are portrayed as a threat to one’s own identity, culture and economic prosperity. Over the past years, we’ve also heard discussions about migration constructed around a dichotomy between “US” and “THEM”, in some cases this being the predominant rhetoric in political discourse in certain countries. This narrative has the effect of excluding people on the basis of, among other things, their country of origin, skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, language or ethnicity. This impacts not only newly-arrived migrants but also existing minorities and other marginalised groups in the society.

Local and regional governments are participating in number of awareness-raising initiatives and projects in favour of migrant integration and inclusion. For instance, the EU-funded Max project focusing on local media and "Changing the narrative". Based in the town or in the village, these initiatives often achieve better outcomes than overly centralised ones. In particular, they have the potential to create a genuine dialogue between the groups to be integrated and the local population, helping the parties to get to know each other and be part of their own solution.[1] Building onto those local realities, local governments have been particularly pleased to co-lead an international and multi-actor campaign called ‘It Takes a Community’, which is a collaborative effort of national and local governments, civil society, the private sector and IOM to balance narratives by promoting stories of social cohesion and community solidarity.

In light of these initiatives, we would like to build momentum around these topics on the occasion of International Migrants Day 2021.

The IncluCities project, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Mayors Mechanism, a partnership between UCLG, IOM and MMC, are joining forces in the context of the #ItTakesACommunity campaign to host an event on ‘How to shift the way we frame migration’

The 45-minutes Facebook live session will focus on migration narratives and how local communities can start making a change from the bottom up. 

Our guest speakers will be:

This campaign promotes the idea that all inhabitants of a local neighbourhood, regardless of age, gender, or ethnic-cultural background, can have a positive impact on the public space they share. In this session, we will highlight the method, and explain how we can use storytelling to create an inclusive image of a city.

Fuenlabrada has been implementing the Anti-rumours strategy since 2013, aiming to fight racism, tackle rumours and improve social cohesion. Nowadays, this initiative involves more than 20 entities and engages more than 100 anti-rumours agents of all ages in the city.

"It takes a community" is an international campaign, based on collaboration between local and national governments, civil society and the private sector. How can we connect the dots and help create  more inclusive communities?  

 The 45 minutes online discussion will be live-streamed on IncluCities Facebook page and covered via social media.

Participants are encouraged to interact during the event using the hashtags:

#InternationalMigrantsDay,  #ItTakesACommunity, #Cities4Migration, #IncluCities.


[1] Annual report on ECRI activities (2017)- European Commission against Racism and Intolerance https://rm.coe.int/annual-report-on-ecri-s-activities-covering-the-period-from-1-january-/16808c168b