Activism

Refugee Or Migrant? Some Actors Explain Why Words Matter So Much

The UN has launched a campaign asking us to carefully consider the labels we use when talking about immigration


UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors and high-profile supporters help define the difference between the terms ‘refugee‘ and ‘migrant‘ in this video from the United Nations. These two words are all over press headlines because of the ongoing European crisis, but are frequently confused by the mainstream media.

A migrant is someone who chooses to leave their country, for economic or personal reasons. They have the chance to return home when they wish to, with the full support and protection of their government. Refugees, as writer Neil Gaiman points out, “are running for their lives.” The campaign, called #wordsmatter, features Cate Blanchett, Colin Firth, Kristin Davis, Patrick Stewart and many more, who explain why it’s so  important to choose your words carefully.


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