Unlocking change

Migrant Voice

Migrant Voice

Migrant Voice works to empower migrants to speak out, challenge perceptions, and change public debate. They are the only migrant-led organisation working specifically to enable migrants to contribute to the media on a national level.

In a challenging political environment that has led to the erosion of many migrants’ rights, Migrant Voice aims to influence migration policy and improve attitudes towards migration by ensuring migrants can contribute to more balanced and well-informed debates. They do this by supporting migrants to build their confidence and media skills, working with journalists and editors to share information and strengthen migrant voices in the media and civil society, and building relationships with policy makers.

Migrant Voice has built an impressive track record, which has led to some significant influence on policy, practice and journalistic behaviour. For example, several of its reports have been presented to the Home Affairs Select Committee, the Home Secretary and the European Commission. Their ‘My Future Back’ campaign led to dozens of international students who had their visas unjustly curtailed in 2014, winning their cases in a tribunal.

To achieve impact at societal level and achieve more equality in political spaces, migrants must be more empowered to speak for themselves and build solidarity with communities. Migrant Voice acts as a conduit that can effectively leverage migrant voices. We do this by developing innovative ways for migrants to increase their influence on media stories and connect them with the media. We also work with the media to improve their practice. This approach has helped to create structural change for migrants.

Nazek Ramadan, Executive Director, Migrant Voice

Connection to Esmée's strategy

Long-term outcomes
  • Public understanding and discussion of migration issues is better informed, particularly by those with lived experience of the migration system.
  • Legislation and support ensure that migrants' rights are protected, and reflects their needs.

Media influencing work can be an effective tool for change. Migrant Voice’s work is highly effective at upskilling migrants and giving them a platform to get their stories and experiences across via the media. With so much negative coverage on migrants, and hostile government policy, this approach is needed and valuable.

Will Steadman, Funding Manager, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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