Refugees and Communication Rights in Europe
As record numbers of people seek refuge and new opportunities around the globe, WACC Europe and its partners are addressing the representation and portrayal of migrants and refugees in Europe. This includes gathering evidence of their representation in the news media and social media, looking at case studies addressing online hate speech and disinformation about asylum and migration, promoting the rights of refugees to speak on their own behalf and upholding good journalistic practices.
The first Refugees Reporting project took place in 2017 by the World Association for Christian Communication – Europe (WACC Europe) and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), the project assessed the media portrayal and representation of refugees in seven European countries, surveyed journalists and refugee representatives on media issues and facilitated a dialogue between refugee representatives and journalists to test the findings. The report, “Changing the Narrative: Media Representation of Refugees and Migrants in Europe” was released in November 2017.
This year, WACC Europe is taking the project further to look at hate speech and disinformation in social media.
The project aims to identify social media methodologies and campaigns that effectively bridge attitudinal divides on migration in European society, to promote the voice of refugees and migrants through social media platforms, and inspire multi-organizational campaigns that support tolerance and inclusion.
Both projects are supported by the Otto per Mille fund (OPM) of the Waldensian Church in Italy, established by the Waldensian Church Synod in 1993 exclusively to support welfare, social and cultural projects.
Additional financial support for the 2017 project came from the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Germany, and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe. Further Cooperation partners are the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches.