Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

UN lifts sanctions on Eritrea after 9 years

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

CNN v. Trump to decide if reporters have a right to White House access

Read more

THE DEBATE

The Hard Sell: Will Theresa May's Brexit plan fly?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

US Supreme Court Justice Breyer urges Americans to 'participate in public life'

Read more

FOCUS

Syria's Armenian minority building new life in Yerevan

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: On the red carpet for the world premiere of 'Fantastic Beasts 2'

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Chinese 're-education' camps: Muslim Uighurs speak out

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Secret screenings: Director Sam Abbas brings LGBTQ film to Middle Eastern audience

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Onion-gate? Australian hardware store sparks anger over changes to hot dog stand

Read more

Europe

French travel publisher releases guide book for refugees

© Le Routard | 'Hello' will be distributed to migrants for free

Text by Tony TODD

Latest update : 2015-09-22

France’s leading publisher of travel guides is due to distribute thousands of specially-designed books aimed at helping migrants and refugees communicate their basic needs.

Made by the same team that publishes the “Guide du Routard”, country guides that adorn bookshelves in almost every French household, “Hello” is a 90-page book that contains no words.

Instead, pictures covering virtually any situation can be found and pointed at by refugees and migrants looking for help.

It is broken down into five sections – practical information, housing and shelter, health, food, and leisure – that will help migrants find what they need and above all help the locals understand them.

The publisher said the initiative is a reaction to “government hesitation” in the face of Europe’s migrant crisis.

“Our rulers are too chicken to do anything for these people,” Philippe Gloaguen, editor in chief of the Guide du Routard, told France Info radio on Tuesday.

France has recently agreed to take in 24,000 refugees over the next two years, as requested by the European Commission. But critics say a lot more could be done, noting that Germany has pledged to welcome 30 times as many.

Gloaguen said the guide, which will have an initial print-run of 5,000 copies and cost 10,000 euros, was being funded equally by Le Routard and the Voyageurs du Monde travel agency. It will be handed out to migrants free of charge.

Apps to the rescue

It isn’t the first such effort to provide innovative media to help migrants navigate the often complicated new world in which they have landed.

A notable example is the InfoAid smartphone app, developed by Hungarian couple Enys Moses and Nina Kov for Hungarian association Migration Aid.

The free app, which is available in six languages – English, Arabic, Farsi, Hungarian, Pashto and Urdu – sends users the latest information on subjects such as border closures, local laws, and asylum procedures.

The developers say the app, which has been downloaded around 1,000 times according to the Google Play Store, was developed because of a chronic lack of information being provided by governments, and even some deliberate misinformation.

This misinformation includes an attempt in Hungary earlier this month to persuade migrants that they were boarding a train to Western Europe, only to try to dump them at a refugee camp outside Budapest.

 

Date created : 2015-09-22

  • EUROPE

    Video: Migrants wait hopefully at Croatia’s border with Slovenia

    Read more

  • MIGRANT CRISIS

    Hungary approves new anti-migrant powers despite outcry

    Read more

  • EUROPEAN UNION

    EU to hold talks as Hungary expands army's powers to halt migrants

    Read more

COMMENT(S)