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Strengthening ties with the OECS Diaspora

A new cooperation is emerging between the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Diaspora and their home countries! Beyond regular remittances, the overseas OECS diaspora and home country governments are seeking to enhance the levels of connectivity, through a diaspora mapping project and a comprehensive communication campaign. Building more meaningful engagement is a long process and one which is being reimagined collectively, by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), OECS diaspora, OECS governments and the OECS Commission.

IOM seeks to support OECS governments as they move towards building capacity to manage migration in a sustainable and humane way. The OECS Member States have some of the highest rates of emigration in the world despite a strong sense of nationalism amongst OECS emigrants (IOM, 2019). As such, IOM wants to engage OECS migrants by offering a better understanding of the rights, benefits, and opportunities that migrants have under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.

IOM (in collaboration with the OECS Commission), has commissioned two projects to advance this new cooperation, the development of a marketing and communication strategy to re-engage the diaspora, and a diaspora groups mapping project.

These projects will provide numerous benefits and foster greater connectivity amongst the OECS diaspora. The development of a marketing and communication strategy includes research to garner information from the diaspora such as knowledge, perception, and levels of connectivity with one’s home country/OECS. Both in-depth interviews and surveys are being conducted across the diaspora in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, and all are invited to participate in the survey. The diaspora group mapping will provide a profile of organizations in principal destination countries, and the information will be available on an interactive map on IOM’s iDiaspora platform.

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