Seefar’s migration communications campaign in Afghanistan has successfully resulted in more than half of consultees making safer and more informed migration decisions, and avoiding potentially deadly encounters on the journey to Europe.
The campaign ran from February to December 2020 and was aimed at informing potential Afghan migrants about the risks and realities of irregular migration in order to protect them from harm and exploitation. Seefar’s research shows that potential migrants attempt irregular migration journeys without access to accurate and reliable information and risk being exploited en route.
The campaign was run as part of The Migrant Project, Seefar’s global flagship migration communications campaign which aims to raise awareness about the dangers of irregular migration and empower potential migrants to make more informed decisions.
The Migrant Project disseminated key information on the risks of irregular migration through online and unbranded media outreach as well as through a dedicated educational component. This involved training teachers about the dangers of irregular migration and running awareness sessions on migration-related topics in schools, reaching some 2,6000 students across Kabul.
Local radio shows proved to be highly effective in raising awareness on irregular migration amongst hard-to-reach audiences with lower access to the internet, as well as driving calls to the counselling hotline. Social media outreach was also effective in raising awareness amongst women who are at particular risk of gender-based violence during irregular migration journeys. A private women-only Facebook group was created to provide a safe space for Afghan women to discuss migration, leading to over 1,000 female members despite limited advertising spend.
The Migrant Project successfully deployed an integrated approach combining direct community engagement through word-of-mouth counsellors and phone-based counselling resulting in nearly 4,000 consultations with potential Afghan migrants. These consultations were highly influential on migrant decision making with more than half of the consultees saying they have abandoned their irregular migration plans in favour of safer and legal alternatives.
Seefar has been continuously implementing strategic communications campaigns in Afghanistan since 2016.