Communicating about migration: IOM’s 2011 World Migration Report
In parallel with its 60th anniversary, IOM launched the World Migration Report 2011: Communicating Effectively about Migration in which it recalled the importance of hearing migrants' voices in today's all too often biased and polarized debate on migration. Political discourse and media reports tend to be negative, especially during economic downturns. Thereby, to avoid communication distortion about migration, the report calls for a fundamental shift in the way migration is communicated. As demonstrated by the IOM report, societies from destination countries overestimate the size of the migrant population, sometimes by as much as 300%. Another pattern obtained from the report is the role played by certain factors on the public attitude towards migration such as: the socio-economic status, age and level of education of respondents and their level of interaction with migrants.
The World Migration Report suggests that questions relating to the changing compositions of our societies and cultural diversity can be addressed by integrating diversity into mainstream media and by encouraging migrants to use new social media tools to regularly engage with host and home societies. Furthermore, initiatives such as the EC-funded Migrants in the Spotlight, which brought together young media professionals and migrants in various EU countries, foster a better informed migration debate.