Published: August 18 2016
Renate van der Zee, The Guardian
You need to puncture your raft before you arrive, or they’ll send you back.” “If you apply for the relocation programme, they send you to Venezuela.” “In Europe you won’t need money, everything is free.”
These are just three of the many confusing rumours that migrants and refugees might hear. Some of them are downright dangerous, like the one about the raft. Others cause people to make the wrong decisions or take risks.
In response, the Mediterranean Rumour Tracker project has been launched to better inform migrants of the facts. Fieldworkers who speak Arabic or Farsi engage with people in the Greek camps, collect the rumours that are circulating, and then verify or dispel them. This information is posted on a dedicated website and corresponding Facebook pages in English, Arabic, Farsi and Greek.