IOM, in cooperation with the European Migration Network (EMN) and the Lithuanian government, has launched a new website, Migration in Numbers (http://123.emn.lt/en/home) in Lithuania.
The website is a source of main official statistical information on migration and asylum. It not only provides data but also explains migration statistics in a user-friendly manner with maps and graphs.
Migration is a topical issue in Lithuania as in many parts of the world. Discussions about migration are often surrounded by various myths and stereotypes.
For example, one third of Lithuanians think that Lithuania has too many immigrants and the majority thinks that Chinese citizens make up the biggest group.
However, statistical data shows that Lithuanian has one of the smallest foreign populations in EU (1 per cent) and that immigrants from China form a very small group – only 23 Chinese immigrated to Lithuania in 2010.
Such misperceptions all too often obscure the migration debate and contribute to increased stigmatization against migrants.
“With this initiative, we wanted to make migration data easily accessible and comprehensible,” said Audra Sipaviciene, IOM Chief of Mission in Vilnius. “We hope that the website will become a useful point of reference for the media, state institutions as well as academia that need up-to-date, reliable and unbiased information on migration.”
The website is the result of cooperation of five institutions working in the field of migration – IOM Vilnius, the Lithuanian Ministry of Interior, the Labour Exchange, the Migration Department, and Statistics Lithuania.
“Our aim is to dispel some of the migration myths and engage the public to discuss migration and asylum constructively,” adds Sipaviciene.
The website, which is launched to commemorate IOM’s 60th anniversary this year, also contains information in Lithuanian and English on general migration trends, immigration, emigration, labour migration, irregular migration, citizenship, and asylum.