Media Critical In Addressing Challenges Of Irregular Migration, Human Trafficking—JIFORM President
The President of Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM), Dr. Abayomi Ajibola has said categorically that the media has a very critical role to play in addressing the concerns especially on irregular migration and human trafficking.
He said this while presenting a paper at a 2-Day Workshop for Journalists on Sensitization Strategy And Reportage on Irregular Migration and Trafficking in Persons (TiP), supported by the Nigerian-German Center For Jobs Migration And Reintegration (NGC) held at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja
Speaking on the Strategic Role of Media on Fight Against Human Trafficking And Irregular Migration said that the journalists have important to role to play in creating awareness and preferring solutions to the challenges of irregular migration and other related issues.
According to him, “The role of the media is very crucial towards addressing concerns especially on irregular migration and human trafficking.”
He contended that the alarming rate at which several Nigerians are deported from Europe and others being deceived or lured into unplanned journeys that lead to slavery, sexual exploitation, forced labour and human trafficking are enough to provoke the media to double up efforts beyond the traditional duties informing, entertaining, educating among others.
The JIFORM President pointed out that to prevent irregular migration and human trafficking, the media must up the ante on public enlightenment to prevent, expose those behind the crime and call for various supports for the victims through rehabilitation and reintegration, adding that the victims ,who are our brothers and sisters, deserve another chance to live a better life.
He urged the media to tell positive and success stories of individuals, business and other endeavours to reinforce the believe that better living is possible in Nigeria to discourage “japa ” at all cost syndrome especially among the youths.
To nip the issue of irregular migration and human trafficking in the bud, given the huge number of Nigerian trooping abroad seeking greener pasture, Ajibola said that there is need for the Nigerian government through the Ministry of Labour and Employment to show deliberate interest to negotiate decent jobs in several countries where labour is sourced from Nigeria in Europe and Arabia nations, adding that Bi-lateral and multi-lateral channels should be exploited for negotiations.
He recommended that rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking and irregular migration should be accorded better priority by the Federal Government by making skill acquisition opportunities and empowerment thereafter available at no cost.
Speaking further, the JIFORM boss posited that practical efforts be geared towards the implementation of the NGC model on management of returnee migrants by the Nigerian government and many of its agencies.
Journalists covering human trafficking and migration matters, he argued need regular training and exposures to antics of human traffickers especially along the Musa Park, Benin Republic, Timbuktu and Agadez in Niger Republic, Routes in Mali, and Togo for first-hand information to create better awareness for the masses, adding that these routes are where Nigerians are being trafficked at intervals.
The Federal Government , he said must be encouraged to make the environment conducive for the youths to access affordable education, health facilities, jobs, and that there must be social security to reassure the citizens that the nation cares for its people.
Such efforts, Ajibola said will help to curtail the antics of the traffickers exploring the pull factors to lure the unsuspecting victims.
He called on the Federal Government to increase allocation to NAPTIP to enable it deliver more its five Ps: Policy, Prevention, Protection, Prosecution And Partnership such that the agency would be able to fully fund its logistics, recruit more hands to make its present visible in the 774 local governments areas in the country beyond the present zonal and state office arrangement of the agency.
The President argued that because of the sensitive nature of human trafficking, NAPTIP should be made to bear arm. adding that the continued reliance on the Police, and the Department of State Services (DSS) for its security and operations is not good enough.
He stressed that the other security agencies have overlapping responsibilities limiting the numbers of men that can be attached to the NAPTIP for effective operation.