Including migrants in emergency management: the e-learning course for local-level practitioners

  Date Published: 03/18/2019

In our increasingly diverse communities and societies, natural/technological disasters and other emergencies are ever more likely to affect migrants and other foreign nationals alongside native residents. At the same time, empowering migrants to contribute to risks and emergency management together with native residents can increase the impact of positive and timely responses in critical situations.

To this end, the UN International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) and the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement of the Council of Europe, developed an online course to help practitioners at local level design and roll out activities to include migrants in emergency management.

The course explores how language proficiency, administrative barriers, mistrust towards the authorities and other cultural and social factors may affect migrants’ access to assistance in emergencies. It is organised in 5 thematic modules, namely on:

  1. vulnerability and capacities of migrants in emergencies;
  2. coordinating with relevant actors;
  3. gathering data on migrants to inform emergency management;
  4. communicating with migrants before, during and after emergencies; 
  5. adapting emergency assistance to better cater for migrants' needs.

Each module explores how the specific barriers migrants encounter in emergencies can be addressed through targeted measures, and how innovative approaches to emergency management can help leverage their capacities to reduce risk for all residents in their communities.

The course is available in English and Spanish, for free and upon registration on IOM’s e-learning platform. Italian and French versions are under development.