Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Migrants and the Media - Visibility for the Vulnerable

of the SIGNIS East Asia Conference 2013
Migrants and the Media - Visibility for the Vulnerable
Sogang University, Seoul, Korea – June  7- 9

We, the East Asian Catholic media professionals from 5 countries in this Conference, discussed the plight of vulnerable communities, most especially the migrant workers in the Asian context.

Delegates coming from the chopsticks countries of East Asia namely; Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau and Taiwan plus observers explored and studied the theme Migrants and the Media – Visibility for the Vulnerable, with valuable inputs from various collaborators local and abroad.

The Conference firmly endorsed that the existence of vulnerable communities specially the migrant workers is a reality which is on the rise around the region, and needs to be addressed urgently. In the globalized world like nowadays, diversity of a society can be a source of creativity and imaginary power. Different cultures of migrant people have the potential of working as energy of a society. Multi-culture is the strength. It is also imperative that as host countries or receiving countries where migrant workers come and work due to labour shortage that we welcome them as brothers and sisters.

The number of foreign brides (or mail order brides) is also on the rise specially in Korea, Taiwan and Japan where intercultural children of the second generation are vulnerable due to differences in ethnicity and language of the mother who is a foreigner. 

We strongly believe that just treatment and humane labour laws should be enforced in relation to migrant workers as each individual is born with dignity. The same is also true to foreign brides who have lived and adapted local culture through the years to be treated with utmost respect as locals regardless of race or belief.

We are aware that the issues concerning the vulnerable groups specially the migrant workers and their struggles should be objectively portrayed by media professionals and social communicators.

As Catholic communicators living in the receiving countries where migrant workers come to work; where foreign brides come and marry locals, we accept that our role should be:
1.     To increase visibility and awareness through our media work the presence of vulnerable groups such as migrant workers, foreign brides and refugees.
2.     To provide a just and fair media representation on the vulnerable groups, avoid imposing any stereotype or distortion.
3.     To help these vulnerable groups adapt better to the local culture and society as a whole most especially the second generation children of inter-cultural marriages.

This means we will engage all media components such as the broadcast, print and new media to provide visibility for the vulnerable through our local works in our respective countries and communities.

Dated: June 9, 2013