“Immigrants are linked to crime and radicalisation”, “immigrants live off grants from the state” or “foreign children only bring problems to the schools”, are just a few of the rumours spread about immigrants. The campaign “Do not feed the rumour” aims to fight against stereotypes, prejudices and discriminatory attitudes about immigrants and the cities/countries where they live, as well as to give correct information regarding immigration and cultural diversity.
Supported by trained anti-rumour agents and the creation of an anti-rumour network, a viral communication strategy has been set up and has already produced good results, such as a more positive attitude from native Portuguese regarding immigrants. In Amadora, the campaign is now part of the Migrants Integration Municipal Plan.
75 organisations were involved in the implementation of this action, which reached about 2 500 people through the following principal activities:
- Mapping of local rumours;
- Training of anti-rumour agents, production of an “Anti-rumours Agents Guide”);
- Awareness-raising workshops;
- Debates and other activities with students, promoted by teachers, in five schools;
- Educational, cultural and sports activities (exhibitions, theatre, showcases);
- A viral communication strategy, using Facebook, an official website, several leaflets, street postcards, roll-ups, badges, videos (1- Presentation Video; 2- Memory Video; 3- Closing Up Video, with interviews with Amadora citizens from different nationalities) and other materials were essential for the dissemination of the campaign’s message, causing a snowball effect.
Solution Offered By Good Practice
- Raising awareness about the impact of widespread and unfounded statements about immigrants and the city itself;
- City communication strategy addressed to the potential of its ethnic and cultural diversity.
In 2017, the “Do not feed the rumour” campaign was awarded the URBACT Good Practice City label, in so far as it fell within the evaluation criteria of the URBACT Programme for that purpose. The theme is highly relevant for EU cities and links to the Urban Agenda for the EU Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees.
The campaign also follows closely the URBACT principles of integration and participation. By promoting this action, the city has gained experience in working with URBACT II and URBACT III. The action demonstrates results, with ex ante and ex post evaluation. In addition, this campaign has transferability since, focusing on soft measures, it can be adapted to suit other contexts.
Start date: 2014
Conclusion: The Communication for Integration (C4I) project ended in 2015, but the “Do not feed the rumour” campaign is now part of the municipal strategy (Municipal Plan for the Integration of Immigrants).
Budget: €71 300
The attitudes of the inhabitants and workers of Amadora regarding the immigrants that live, study and/or work in the municipality were analysed by a university team (CIS-IUL – ISCTE-IUL). A survey was carried out in two phases: 1) before the beginning of the campaign; and 2) after the activities and events had been held. The results of this survey were integrated into the wider evaluation conducted by the Council of Europe as the promoter of the C4I project.
The campaign was developed by the municipality involving 75 organisations of the Amadora Social Network, including associations of/for immigrants, as well as organisations working in the fields of education, social development, sports, culture and security. The campaign also brought together decision makers, civil society and different levels of government (local, national and EU).
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