Government personnel in Panama are trained on communication with migrants

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has highlighted the need to join forces with Panamanian government entities to strengthen ethical recruitment as an effective tool for the prevention of labour exploitation.

For this reason and with the aim of planning awareness and information activities for its internal and external audiences, as well as disseminating messages through digital platforms and social networks, IOM organized on July 28, 2022, the webinar Key learnings on communication with migrants, with the aim of strengthening capacities in government bodies to execute communication strategies focused on raising awareness about migrants, their rights and prevention of labour exploitation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, the National Commission against Trafficking in Persons, the Ombudsperson's Office, the Ministry of Health, the National Border Service, the National Migration Service, the office of the Mayor of La Chorrera, and the Ministry of Labour and Professional Development participated in this activity.

"Talking about communication processes implies identifying the most effective ways so that information reaches those who need it in a timely manner (in the appropriate language, form and channel) and the human right of access to information is fulfilled; but also, that migrants are not only recipients of information, but are part of a two-way process that allows them to consult, clarify, expand and discuss, also promoting the principle of guaranteeing participation and empowerment," explained Tatiana Chacón Salazar, Regional Officer for Communication for Development of IOM's Office in San José, Costa Rica. The webinar deepened considerations for communication with migrants, such as that it must be focused on the information needs of the audience and their right of access to information, that it must be sensitive and empathetic to migrant vulnerabilities and realities, it must be inclusive and accessible, it must be participatory and culturally/community-appropriate and it must contemplate two-way communication mechanisms, such as feedback, complaints and inquiries.

This activity was conducted with the support of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and within the framework of the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), a global multi-stakeholder initiative that supports governments, civil society, the private sector and recruiters to establish that international recruitment is fair and ethical for all involved: migrant workers, employers, recruiters and countries of origin and destination. Some of the strategies proposed by IRIS to promote ethical recruitment are:

· Promote respect for the rights of migrant workers;

· Improve transparency and accountability in recruitment;

· Promotion of the principle that "the employer always pays";

· Strengthening of public policies, standards and enforcement mechanisms.

For more information, contact IOM Panama's communications team via

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities