About the project
Migrants are one of the vulnerable groups most negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis at various levels (unemployment, economic instability, etc.). Those who do not speak the language of the host country face bigger challenges and higher risks in the face of emergency situations, such as the current pandemic, for linguistic diversity has not been systematically integrated into crisis planning.
This project aims at developing an appropriate communication plan, based on effective translation practices and policies, which can provide a quick response to the current crisis and future emergency situations in disseminating relevant information among migrant communities. It also seeks to strengthen cooperation between the states of the Baltic Sea Region to deal with cross-border emergencies and use the knowledge generated by this cooperation to tackle problems at the local/state level.
For that purpose, we will first analyse the information provided during the COVID-19 crisis by stakeholders from different sectors (governmental institutions, companies, universities, NGOs and media) in Estonia, Finland and Latvia ─ states with different migration patterns, translation policies and linguistic compositions─, with the focus on the methods, quality, timeliness, accessibility and languages information provided to those with poor skills in the official languages. This first analysis in the three states involved will enable us to carry out a cross-national comparative study to identify a series of good practices which serve as the basis to suggest new strategies in translation policies.
The resulting guidelines for communicating essential multilingual information to migrants will not only contribute to a faster recovery from the current crisis, but could also be adapted and scaled to address future emergency situations in the Baltic Sea Region.
The project “Improving communication with migrants for crisis preparedness: lessons learned from COVID-19”, funded by the Council of the Baltic Sea States (Grant Agreement No. PSF2021/8) will be implemented between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022. This year’s CBSS Project Support Facility call is dedicated to innovative solutions for strengthening resilience and inclusiveness in the Baltic Sea Region during a period of crisis.