IOM sensitizes 25,500 Nigerian migrants on irregular migration, trafficking


The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said, on Monday, that more than 240 illegal immigrants were rescued off the Libyan coast in the past week.

United Nations migration agency, the International Organization on Migration, IOM, said it has deployed Community Dialogue and Theatre in its quest to curb irregular migration, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Nigeria.

The UN agency said it has through the process reached out to 25, 545 migrants on the dangers of irregular migration and the need for safe and orderly migration. IOM’s Chief of Mission, Mr Franz Celestin stated this yesterday in Abuja at the launch of a Community Dialogue and Community Theatre Manual on irregular migration, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

Celestin who was represented by Cyprine Cheptepkeny, the Awareness Raising Officer of IOM Nigeria said the occasion marked a key milestone in contributing to the Federal Government efforts at promoting safe migration options among migrants and potential migrants through preventive efforts such as sensitization and awareness creation.

He said; “As part of the key instruments to these, the two manuals provide guidance to key partners on how community-based actions such as using community dialogue and theatre can be used in promoting homegrown solutions on trafficking in persons.

“Since the inception of the Joint Initiative in April 2017, IOM in collaboration with NAPTIP and NOA has been engaged in implementing various awareness-raising activities in Nigeria designed to cause behavioural change among potential migrants and their families and friends.

These interventions aim to improve access to trusted information sources and promote informed decision making by sensitizing potential migrants on regular migration options, vulnerabilities to trafficking in persons, and risks associated with irregular migration. The interventions are designed to highlight the opportunities that abound at home, foster social cohesion among migrants and their community members and to encourage homegrown initiatives to indigenous problems.

“It is through your unending support and collaborations that 25, 545 migrants were reached through different key sensitization activities such as community dialogue, community theatre, among others. Additionally, 682 community dialogue facilitators have been trained across Lagos, Edo and Delta while over 86 shows have been performed by the trained actors reaching out to over 19, 755 persons”, he added.

Director of Public Enlightenment at the National Agency for Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Arinze Orakwue, who represented his director-general said community theatre remained a veritable tool in behavioural communication.

He expressed the continued support of NAPTIP to the IOM in its efforts to curb irregular migration.

On his part, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency NOA, Dr Garba Abari said the strategies adopted by IOM resonates with the average Nigerian as he can easily assimilate and readily recall the messages inherent in theatre performances.

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