Location and general information
In 2020, it was estimated that 60,145 people had migrated to Tunisia for a broad variety of reasons. Some of them are faced with racial discrimination from the local populations. Fuelled by prejudice and stereotypes about the migrants’ origins and status, this discrimination aggravates various types of social exclusion that can have a serious impact on their lives, such as ghettoisation, physical violence and human rights violations. The social exclusion of migrants also has a negative effect on host societies, in that it breaks down social cohesion, increases violence, gives rise to political and social instability, and results in the underemployment of migrant workers.
The IOM’s project is intended to resolve or alleviate various harmful effects of a lack of social cohesion between migrant groups and the host community. These effects are easy to spot: tensions between the communities, a lack of migrant access to grassroots or professional sport, no sports opportunities for migrant women, a lack of sports activities for children in vulnerable neighbourhoods, and discriminatory practices in both grassroots and professional football.
Rather than restricting the project to isolated events aimed at encouraging a collective spirit, the intention is to emphasise the need for sports programmes that involve both target groups and establish a feeling of integration (familiarity) beyond mere tolerance (forced acceptance).
The IOM will run sports activities aimed at bringing the public and private sectors together to fight against the discrimination and marginalisation of migrants and ultimately integrate them into Tunisian society.
The project comprises four parts: (1) creating or renovating football pitches or sports grounds; (2) sports equipment for vulnerable communities; (3) coach education in inclusion and non-discrimination; (4) encouragement to include migrants in leagues and tournaments.
The following activities are to be carried out from August 2021 to November 2022:
- Training for football instructors
- Seminar on social inclusion and anti-racism for coaches, referees and sports journalists
- Women’s football tournament
- Men’s football tournament
- Children’s sports days
- Women’s sports days
- Sports equipment supplied to amateur football clubs
The following results are expected:
- Four equipped sports grounds for use by migrants and locals
- 60 instructors trained to teach football to 400 Tunisian and migrant children
- Introductory sports activities for more than 100 Tunisian and migrant women
- Support for four grassroots tournaments involving more than 400 Tunisians and migrants
- Educating more than 80 coaches, referees and sports journalists in anti-racism
- Two grassroots football tournaments (one men’s and one women’s) involving Tunisians and migrants, to promote social cohesion