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ILO and Panos hold consultation on media and migration at the dead sea

On January 17, 2014

Dead Sea, Jordan: A group of senior journalists and editors from Asia, Africa and the Middle East met at the Dead Sea this week to discuss trends in the reporting of migration issues in the Middle East.

The Inter-regional Consultation for Senior Media Executives, organised by Panos Europe and the ILO, gave media executives the chance to discuss the challenges they face when reporting on migration. These include a perceived lack of interest in the issue among the general public, the question of motivating young journalists to tackle stories relating to migration, concerns around censorship and practical hurdles such as getting access to the migrant workers themselves for comment.

The question of how journalists and editors could do a better job of bringing migrant workers' voices and points of view into their reports was a recurring theme throughout the conference.

Delegates had the opportunity to share ideas about how migration in the region could be covered in a more informed and balanced manner, avoiding sensationalism, binaries of victim/criminal and biased reporting.

Migrant Rights was a delegate at the conference (represented by Associate Editor, Sophia). The event was 'off the record', giving editors and journalists an opportunity to speak without restraint.

Delegates had opportunity to see new film Camp Ka Champ,  by UAE-based filmaker Mahmoud Kaabour. Camp Ka Champ follows migrant construction workers participating in a Bollywood singing contest Dubai, and gives viewers a rare insight into life inside the labour camps. This is the film's second-ever showing, following its debut on an outdoor screen in front of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai last month.

Hélène Harroff-Tavel and Alix Nasri of the ILO distributed their new publication, Tricked and trapped : human trafficking in the Middle East (2013) an in-depth review of human trafficking in the Middle East based on over 600 research interviews with migrant workers and other stakeholders.