R4V launches “One step closer”
A campaign in solidarity with refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean
Panama City, August 24, 2020.- The Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V) launched One Step Closer today, a campaign that promotes messages of empathy, solidarity, and tolerance to refugees and migrants in 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the objective of emphasizing how we are united as human beings.
According to data from August 2020, there are 5.2 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela in the world, 80 percent of which are in Latin America and the Caribbean. The countries in the region and host communities have shown great efforts to integrate the Venezuelan population, remaining faithful to their tradition of solidarity. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, refugees and migrants — including children and adolescents — are facing substantial challenges, such as stigmatization, demonstrations of discrimination, and xenophobia.
Under the names One Step Closer, Reduzindo a Distância, and Acortemos Distancias, the campaign highlights values, traditions, and historically shared customs in the three main languages spoken throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The campaign’s focus is mainly digital, launching with an official video shot in five countries prior to the pandemic. This video features varied projects involving refugees and migrants from Venezuela and host communities, and includes original music scored in collaboration with the Latin Vox Machine orchestra, as well as powerful narration by its director Omar Zambrano.
“In the face of the attitudes that incite discrimination and violence, it is necessary to spread a clear and meaningful message in favor of integration,” said Eduardo Stein, Joint Special Representative of UNHCR and IOM for refugees and migrants from Venezuela. “Maintaining the solidarity shown up to this point is vital. This campaign is a call in favor of constructive coexistence and respect for diversity.”
“Latin America and the Caribbean are united by feelings of solidarity, cultural diversity, family, and the capacity to adapt to complex circumstances through joy and effort,” assured Bernt Aasen, Regional Director of UNICEF for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We want to spread a message of hospitality and respect for human and children’s rights, because only through unity can we form a more stable and prosperous region for all.”
Throughout the campaign, audiovisual content will be released in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Papiamento in order to counter prejudice towards refugees and migrants through testimonies and data, offering a broader and more inclusive perspective that promotes solidarity.
This regional campaign is the result of the joint effort of organizations and agency partners of the R4V Platform, which work with the objective of tackling the protection, assistance and integration needs of refugees and migrants of Venezuela in the region through the complementing and strengthening of host governments’ responses.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/lac.
In April 2018, the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V) was established under the request of the United Nations Secretary General to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The R4V Platform’s function is to direct and coordinate the response to refugees and migrants from Venezuela, including children and adolescents, and their host communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, while complementing government responses.
To date, the R4V Platform includes almost 200 organizations in the region which, jointly with donor institutions, provide coherent and coordinated analysis; strategic planning and response; general direction; technical support. The R4V Platform also includes a dialogue forum to implement specific activities to improve the wellbeing and resilience of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and their host communities, taking into consideration their opinions and needs.
For additional information, please visit the “One Step Closer” website or R4V.
Download the briefing kit here.