The Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) Pakistan, in cooperation with the Lahore Press Club, organized the Migration Media Awards 2022 on 19 December 2022 in Lahore. This award ceremony is held to recognize the contributions, improved knowledge on migration issues and enhearten the work of journalists and media personnel who took part in developing migration stories in the last eight months.

Migration Media Awards 2022 Organized by MRC in Lahore
Rana Ali Zohaib (Winner of Migration Media Awards Print Category) Receiving his award

Information on migration is a crucial element of empowering potential migrants to take an informed decision on their migration trajectory. Providing people with Knowledge on the dangers and consequences of irregular migration , human trafficking and migrant smuggling as well as the legal pathways of migration is important to counteract myths and wrongful information spread by smuggling and trafficking networks. Journalists and the Pakistani media landscape play a crucial role in dismantling misinformation and informing the public. Over 45 stories/ reporting pieces on migration were received from all over Pakistan against the media migration awards.  These awards are announced by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) under the framework of project “Awareness raising and information campaigns on the risks of irregular migration in Pakistan (PARIM)”

Migration Media Awards 2022 Organized by MRC in Lahore
Sheraz Hasnat Addressing Event

Mr. Sheraz Hasnat, member of  Lahore Press Club in his remarks welcomed all attendees of the event and congratulated ICMPD in organizing the first ever Migration Media Awards in Pakistan. Mr. Hasnat admired  the work of the Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) in Pakistan stating it as  the need of time for the potential and intending migrants to know about migration processes, their rights and responsibilities before considering to migrate. He expressed his hopes that this collaboration with the MRCs will contribute in strengthening the knowledge and access to information on migration for Pakistanis through accurate and balanced journalism.

Other renowned journalists including Mr. Habib Akram, Mr. Shafiq Jalandry and ex-president of Lahore Press Club Azam Chaudhary emphasized that  in context of migration, the media is crucial in delivering verified information, informed opinions as well as balanced and inclusive narratives. Despite attracting much attention, the complex situation of migration, the diversity of  migrants and their situations could be more accurately portrayed. Untruths- dis information’s and mal information should be avoided.

Ms. Myra Imran, Vice President National Press Club expressed her views that media should play its role in shaping public opinion while informing on migration and the policies available from the state’s end.

Ms. Nadia Kashif from the Migrant Resource Centre Pakistan talked about the role media plays in framing public thinking about migrants and migration. She added the way the media covers migration will certainly affects the range and quality of information received by the public, particularly it affects intending and potential migrants more, as well as how our societies perceive and relate to this migration issue.

Mr. Syed Yawar Abbas Bukhari Addressing

In the end member of Punjab Assembly Mr. Syed Yawar Abbas Bukhari presented the shields and prize money to five winners for their  migration reporting pieces in the categories of Print English and Urdu, Digital, Electronic and Emerging Talent.  Later, Mr. Bukhari well-regarded the services of the organizers and urged to continue raising awareness on safe and informed migration in the migration prone districts. He further emphasized the need to channelize youth potential in the right direction i.e. by acquiring in-demand technical skills and linking them with job markets in Pakistan and abroad.

Ms. Hina Maqsood, Project Manager ICMPD in her closing remarks acknowledge the work of all participating journalists in the field of migration reporting and thanked everyone for their participation and commitment to the cause.

About the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) Pakistan:

The Migrant Resource Centres (MRC) were established in Islamabad and Lahore in 2016. The MRCs work under the auspices of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (MOPHRD) in Islamabad and with the Department of Labour and Human Resource Development, Government of Punjab in Lahore. Both the MRCs are supported by the EU-funded project “Awareness Raising and Information Campaigns on Migration in Pakistan” (PARIM) and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The MRCs help people to make informed decisions when considering to migrate. They provide: one on one counselling, referrals to services for migrants, pre-departure orientation and outreach to outgoing, intending and potential migrants by engaging with local communities, technical, vocational institutes, universities and government offices.