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'I Am A Migrant': A social media campaign to let migrants around the world share their life stories

'I Am A Migrant': A social media campaign to let migrants around the world share their life stories

The site brings together profiles of migrants including their country of origin and the distance from the place where they now live.

London: Migrants around the world are invited to share their life stories in a new social media campaign launched in London on Wednesday by the International Organisation for Migration and a British charity.

The site iamamigrant.org brings together profiles of migrants including their country of origin and the distance from the place where they now live.

An Arabic interpreter of Iraqi origin living in Belgium, an artist from Mauritania living in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a fashion designer from India living in Italy were among the profiles featured on the website at its launch.

"Myths and fears surrounding migrants are informing popular discourse," said Saira Grant, chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), the non-governmental group co-organising the initiative with the Geneva-based IOM.

The campaign is being launched ahead of UN International Migrants Day on Friday and has already been adopted by the government in Mexico, where "Soy Migrante" posters will go on display next month.

Facebook in Germany has also lent its support to the campaign, which is in English, French, German and Spanish, by donating online advertising space.

Organisers said in a statement that the website would be "a platform through which, across the globe, anti-immigrant rhetoric can be challenged and the vital contribution of migrants can be celebrated".

Dipti Pardeshi, head of the IOM's British mission, said she hoped campaigns such as this could lead to action to "help shift the political debate towards implementing policies on migrant inclusion".

The campaign builds on a crowdfunded initiative by the JCWI earlier this year ahead of Britain's general election entitled "I Am An Immigrant", which was widely shared on social media and featured in eye-catching posters on the London Underground.

first published:December 17, 2015, 11:21 IST