Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 5 November 2017 | 1,700 times
The United Nations has stressed the need for government at all levels and its relevant agencies to fiercely tackle Smuggling of Migrants (SOM).
The UN also advocated the need for agencies managing migration in the countries to synergise with the media for effective campaign against SOM.
These were in a communique issued at the end of a three-day European Union-funded workshop on Smuggling of Migrants (SOM), organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), recently in Kaduna.
It as well lamented the lack of synergy between the agencies coordinating migration Management in Nigeria (NIS, NAPTIP, etc) and the media, reiterating the need for NIS to develop a proactive information management system on migrants-related issues.
Participants at the workshop however made some salient observations, stating among other, that women and children are most vulnerable victims of SOM.
While they said that rise on SOM is a consequence of improper and ineffectual information dissemination and citizen education on the phenomenon, they noted also that SOM is not abating in Nigeria but constituting threat to national security, economy, socio-political sanity and well-being of the country.
They however noted that there are emerging routes and destinations used by smugglers of migrants aside Europe and America, including the Middle East and some Asian countries.
Participants also agreed that migration is an inevitable phenomenon with far-reaching advantages when done within the context of available conventions, emphasising that the advantages and opportunities are being lost to irregular migration being perpetrated by smugglers of migrants.
In a related development, the participants recommended that NIS and Foreign Affairs Ministry should develop effective and dynamic ways of engaging the Diaspora communities to mitigate SOM and develop a robust Social Media engagement strategy to counter the narratives on SOM.
They agreed that media organisations need to establish Migration Desks for effective reportage of migration and related issues, with a view to facilitating the ease of effective reportage and coverage of migration, participant suggested the issuance of official travel documents to journalists covering migration.
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