Misleading information on social media about Darien, one of the most dangerous routes in the world, influences the decision made by refugees and migrants.
Panama City, Panama, May 1, 2023 -
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) launched the “Confía en el Tucán” (Trust the Toucan) project on social networks Facebook and TikTok. The initiative is centered around "El Tucán", a character dedicated to challenging false publications and providing reliable information about the jungle connecting Panama and Colombia.
The "Confía en el Tucán" pages will include information about the risks of the journey and messages about prevention of violence and human trafficking, themes identified by UNHCR through surveys with people on the move. This project includes the stories narrated by refugees and migrants who risked their lives crossing the border to enter Panama.
In 2022, some 250,000 people of more than 30 nationalities crossed the Darien jungle in search of protection and better opportunities. At least 38% of people arriving in Darien get their information through Facebook and almost 10% through TikTok.
"The role of social networks in influencing people’s decisions is undeniable, but much of it is misleading. "Confía en el Tucán" seeks to share reliable information and two-way communication so that people, often in situations of vulnerability, can make an informed decision," explains Philippa Candler, Representative of the UNHCR Multi-Country Office in Panama.
platforms of the UNCHR-managed "Confía en el Tucán" project will share protection information and also feature communications from other UN agencies and partners in the field.
The Americas region is facing unprecedented displacement. Through initiatives such as "Confía en el Tucán," UNHCR tailors its communications to the information and protection needs of people forced to flee.
For further information, please contact:
ACNUR – UNHCR Multi-Country Office in Panamá, Associate Communications Officer, Viola Eleonora Bruttomesso, firstname.lastname@example.org.