The International Organization for Migration (IOM) works with governments, international organizations, NGOs, the media and other partners from around the world to encourage the use of sport to promote safe migration, raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and the risks of trafficking, foster conflict resolution and peace building, and assist displaced populations in post-disaster relief and reconstruction efforts.
1. 'Play it Safe' Nation-Wide Sporting Tournament in Zimbabwe
In 2008, IOM organized a nation-wide sporting tournament to promote safe migration and raise awareness on the risks and realities of irregular migration and HIV/AIDS. The tournament is part of IOM's Safe Journey Information Campaign that started in 2005 with the aim of helping Zimbabwean youth make the right migration choices and to be informed about HIV/AIDS. The campaign, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and with support from the Zimbabwean government, uses a range of multi-media tools to inform and advocate in addition to running youth centre 'Safe Zones' offering safe migration education activities. It also does community outreach work, holds an annual national youth dialogue on migration as well as offering livelihood skill-building activities.
2. Sports Carnival in Sri Lanka
In 2006, IOM organized a sports carnival at a camp for the victims of the 2004 tsunami that hit Sri Lanka. The event included a marathon race, team sports as well as games like climbing the greasy pole and father-and-son races.
3. Involvement of Albanian TV and Sports Stars in the Struggle against HIV/AIDS
The objective of the project, launched in 2008, is to contribute to the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for Albania (2004 - 2010) by designing and organizing an HIV/AIDS awareness-raising campaign addressed to the young emigrants/students who come back to Albania during their holidays. The main purpose is to increase public awareness and knowledge about HIV/AIDS and to ensure media professionals are well equipped to contribute to relaying correct information through coherent and sensitive communication. In order to address important cross cutting issues related to HIV/AIDS prevention (Gender and Human Rights), a "female and male" football match and a training seminar for media professionals was organized.
4. Issue of Trafficking around the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany
The general objective of this project was to discover verifiable facts related to a possible increase in trafficking during the 2006 Football World Cup taking place in Germany. Some observers believed that as many as 40,000 foreign prostitutes were expected to come to Germany during the month-long tournament and feared that many would be trafficked. The outcome of the research was used to suggest measures of counter-trafficking during similar events in the future and provides an important tool for policy makers.
5. 'El Golombiao' - The Game of Peace for Colombia
El Golombiao's approach encourages the dissemination of football principles such as team spirit, respect and tolerance. Football is not considered only in terms of competition but also as a means of encouraging dialogue between local inhabitants and other political actors such as state institutions, the private sector and NGOs.
International Migration Organization (2007), Migration Research Series: No. 29 - Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Geneva, Switzerland.
Tel: +41 (0) 22 917 17 12
Jorge Andrés Gallo
E-mail : jgallo(at)iom.int