“Suitcase 2021” contest announces winner journalists reporting on migration and displacement
24 December 2021
The awards ceremony took place on 17 December 2021 in Yerevan.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Migration Service of Armenia are proud to announce the winners of the 2021 “Suitcase” Journalistic Award following an awards ceremony that took place on 17 December 2021 in Yerevan.
The competition celebrated journalists who had covered many facets of displacement and migration in Armenia reporting on topics such as asylum system, refugees, and international protection in Armenia; migration processes and migrants; displacement, and issues faced by displaced persons.
Migration needs better reporting. Ilona Ter-Minasyan, Head of Office in IOM Armenia, stresses the importance of media in shedding light on the humanitarian and policy challenges of the migration issues in Armenia:
“Journalists raise questions that cannot be ignored and create reports that bring changes in our behaviors.”
“Many refugees have amazing stories to tell. If composed in an accurate and genuine way, human stories can convince the public and decision-makers to mobilise and act, and make a difference in people’s lives. Mass media and today - social media - play a crucial role in the promotion of tolerance and respect towards refugees and their rights. It is particularly important to sensitise the public on the importance of non-discrimination, equality, religious tolerance, multiculturalism and respect for “the others,” says Anna-Carin Öst, UNHCR Representative in Armenia.
“Literate, accurate and high-quality media content develops healthy perceptions among the general public, which leads to regular-migration-behavior and deliberate decisions, realizing responsibility for that decision. Therefore, we build effective and constructive cooperation with media and take continuous steps in that direction” adds Armen Ghazaryan, Head of the Migration Service of Armenia.
Around 90 submissions were received from journalists working in Armenian digital, print and broadcast media. The Jury selected nine winners for their journalistic excellence.
Gohar Abrahamyan's article, "Hanging in the Air: When Even Your Displacement Is Unrecognized" has won the main prize in "Suitcase 2021". The article produced for EVN Report talks about the tens of thousands of Armenians displaced by the 2020 Artsakh War. Abrahamyan says she hopes one day her article will become obsolete and no one will ever be "hanging in the air." The winner received 500 thousand drams and a symbolic bronze statuette of “Suitcase Award”.
The “Suitcase” journalistic contest is aimed at motivating for a high-quality thematic media coverage. By encouraging the production of professional and impressive media content on the processes relating to refugees, displaced and stateless persons, and migrants in Armenia, UNHCR, IOM and the Migration Service aim at inspiring journalists for applying more comprehensive, accurate and impartial approaches in their work with displaced persons and migrants.