ICRC to directly communicate with migrants using cell phones

ICRC to directly communicate with migrants using cell phones

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have started to directly communicate with migrants travelling across Central America and Mexico using the messaging service WhatsApp.

Since Monday, migrants have been receiving advice on how to avoid accidents, illness and being separated from family.

Jesús Serrano, ICRC's regional communication coordinator for Mexico and Central America, said:

"Self-protection messages for migrants are a success, and thousands of these messages have been shared over the last four years in print and through the radio. With an increasing number of people using WhatsApp along migration routes, we are now sending these messages directly to those who need them.”

The essential information for migrants will be sent from the phone number +52 1 55 80 12 90 55. To maximise the reach, the number and messages will be shared with shelters and aid organisations that are partnered with the ICRC along the migration route.

Along with the digital messages, 50,000 physical copies of the information are expected to be delivered to migrants during 2019.

According to the ICRC, an increasing number of migrants are using digital platforms to communicate with families and friends, as well as to exchange information in shelters or other places, such as Internet cafes.

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