Belgium to launch anti-immigration social media campaign
News | 13.07.2018
Belgian authorities plan to launch a social media campaign aimed at discouraging potential migrants from coming to the country.
The campaign, to be run for a minimum of six months by the Immigration Department (DVZ), will highlight the dangers of irregular migration as well as myths propagated by people smugglers. The department was unavailable for comment on when the campaign will officially start.
A smaller campaign has already been held to deter potential Iraqi migrants, and DVZ director-general Freddy Roosemont called it a “success.” He added that the new campaign illustrates how the authorities “are adapting to modern times,” Belgian newspaper Gazet Van Antwerpen reported Friday.
However, critics of the initiative are concerned about the objectivity of the information to be spread and the risk of putting off asylum-seekers who need genuine protection and legal help in Belgium.
The director of refugee charity Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, Rein Antonissen, said the Iraq campaign “mainly focused on the disadvantages and risks” of migration.
This initiative is based on a similar model run by the German Foreign Office, which in 2016 released a document entitled “Seven big lies of traffickers.” It exposed fictions being spread by smugglers such as all immigrants getting €2,000 upon arrival.
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