Seefar’s pilot remote migration communications campaign in Turkey and Serbia has resulted in over one third of transit migrants making safer and more informed migration decisions after receiving a consultation on the risks and realities of irregular migration.
The campaign, On The Move, ran from April to December 2020 and was aimed at informing transit migrants about the risks of continuing their irregular migration journey to Europe, asylum and other legal alternatives. Additionally, the campaign provided concrete support and information on COVID-19 prevention. The transit migrants included those from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Pakistan.
Seefar’s research suggests that many transit and potential migrants are unaware of the risks of onward migration and the realities of life in Europe. Many lack legal protection or are unwilling to claim asylum in the country of transit leaving them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. On The Move sought to help migrants understand the risks and realities of irregular migration through the dissemination of key messages on the campaign’s Facebook pages reaching over 16 million people and driving over 3.1 million post engagements throughout the course of the pilot.
Social media outreach and lead generation advertising was also effective in reinforcing messages promoted during consultations and driving over 3,400 migrants to call the remote hotline service. Consultations were highly impactful in supporting transit migrants to make safer and more informed decisions, with 34% saying they have abandoned or delayed their irregular migration plans after receiving information from On The Move. In addition, 10% of transit migrants were considering returning to their countries of origin through voluntary return schemes. Trust played a major role in migrant decision making with two-thirds of consultees more likely to report a change in migration plans as a result of supportive conversations with On The Move counsellors.