Using music and testimonies to highlight the risks of crossing to Yemen

ADDIS ABABA, 8 February 2018 (UNHCR) – UNHCR is launching a major information campaign in the Horn of Africa region to raise awareness of the dangers of crossing to and through Yemen. The main features of the campaign are the music video Dangerous Crossings (watch at http://bit.ly/2kg2zRL) and video testimonies by victims of the smuggling trade. The music video features prominent artists who have great credibility with the target audiences: Yeshie Demalash, Dawit Nega and Tadele Roba from Ethiopia, Maryam Mursal and Aarmaanta from Somalia, and Hany Adel from Egypt. The video testimonies are powerful firsthand accounts by refugees and migrants from the region.

 

This is an innovative method of awareness raising, combining the appeal of music performed by popular artists with statements by ordinary people who have survived terrible ordeals on the journey. The campaign engages young people, their families and communities, stimulates discussion, and challenges the smugglers’ tales about Yemen as a safe destination.

 

All available media tools are being used: social media, radio, TV, print media, billboards and posters. Dangerous Crossings is growing into one of the biggest information campaigns of this kind ever conducted in the region.

Yemen has been ravaged by a vicious war since 2015 and is today the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, with epidemics and famine added to the horrors of war. But, despite this, every year tens of thousands of people continue to cross the sea from the Horn of Africa to this war-torn country, risking their lives at the hands of unscrupulous smugglers. Most of them decide to go to Yemen in the hope of being able to continue to the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, or Europe. They are often unaware of the dangers the may face during the sea crossing and the horrendous conditions in Yemen.

The Dangerous Crossings campaign has a simple message to those who are planning to go to Yemen: You must get correct information before you decide to go. Do not believe what the smugglers are telling you. Make an informed decision.

 

Dangerous Crossings is on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, in English, Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, and Somali