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Nigerian girl held captive in Lebanon cries for help

  • Victim laments boss” sexual harassment
Omotola's boss

Omolola’s boss in Lebanon (inset is Omotola co founder of PROJECTFERRY

A Nigerian lady, Ajayi Omolola, is in a very right corner in Lebanon and requires urgent assistance to come out alive.

The 23-year-old single mother in an SOS video she posted online seeking assistance, said she was taken to Lebanon with the promise that she was going to work as an English Language teacher. But on getting there, she was sold into slavery and daily subjected to all manner of inhuman treatment.

In the less than four minutes video, Omolola began her plea with a brief introduction of herself and family in Yoruba Language, spoken in the South West Nigeria. “Good afternoon ma and sir. My name is Ajayi Omolola. I am from Osun State. I am 23 years old. I am a single mother. My mother’s name is Ajayi Felicia while my dad’s name is Ajayi Kehinde.

“I am in Lebanon right now. My parents are living in Ilorin around Offa Garage. A family friend connected me to the white man who brought me to Lebanon.”

Sobbing and crying for help, she said: “They told me that I was coming to Lebanon in to teach English Language. But it was all a lie. When I got here, they collected my passport and kept it. When they did this, I wondered why they did that. I never knew they sold me into slavery.

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“What I am facing here is indescribable. I am just praying that I should not die in this process.

“They don’t take us to hospital whenever we are sick. The only medication they give us is panadol. Half of the people who came here with us half died.

 

“I am begging Feminique Life Support to save me so that I will also not die here. They should help me to return back to Nigeria.”

*Daily battle with sexual harassment*


Following the helpless condition she has found herself, Omolola, relives her daily struggle of how her boss constantly tries to rape her.

“The person I am staying with often wants to rape me but I have been resisting him. He has seized my phone and threatened that he will not give it back to me if i don’t allow him to have sex with me. It is only when he is sleeping of has gone out that I secretly use the phone. Whenever he want to rape me,

“I always push him away. I am scared that he could slump in the process and die. If that happens, the authorities will kill me.”

READ  Over 6,000 stranded migrants assisted back home through EU support

*Agency abandons victim*
Desperate to wriggle out of danger starring her in the face, Omolola said she reached out to the agency that handled her traveling but met with a brick wall.
“I called my agency but they blocked me. I then told my boss that I was working for that I wanted to go back home but he vehemently refused, saying that he had paid the agency for everything about me.

“He said he owns me both in life and in death. When he said that, I exclaimed and became very worried about my three-year-old baby who I left back in Nigeria. Please Family Life Support help me. Help me to live and nurture my child. Don’t let them throw my parents into mourning.”

She hinted that the other person working together with her in the house just travelled, and frighteningly said: “Now that I will be left with this man (my boss) I don’t know what would happen.
I sleep in the siting room on bare floor in a very cold weather condition. They didn’t even give me good clothe to wear. It is rags that I am always given to wear.

 

“Please don’t let me die here. I am really suffering a great deal here. Unfortunately for me, my daughter has not known me. It is teaching that I was brought here to come and do but it is another thing entirely that I am doing here.”
*Government official , agency wade in*

READ  Five children, 40 other migrants die in largest recorded shipwreck off Libya Coast 

When the attention of Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari was drawn to the victim’s plight, she said: ”
“It’s a trafficking matter which I have forwarded to the DG of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP”
NAPTIP in a message shared on Journalist International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) said: “NAPTIP is already working on this. Investigations are on going and we are working with NSCDC on a lead presently related to this in Illorin.”

 

 

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Dominican Republic, IOM clear hurdles for 100,000 Venezuelan migrants

The Migration Normalization Plan will allow Venezuelans living irregularly in the Dominican Republic to work, move without risk of deportation, open bank accounts and join the country’s social security system.  Photo: IOM / Francesco Spotorno

 

 

Santo Domingo – The first group of almost 100,000 Venezuelan migrants without legal status in the Dominican Republic have received visas allowing them to work, open bank accounts and join the social security system under the country’s Migration Normalization Plan.

Created by the Dominican government and launched with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the plan aims to regularize the Venezuelan population in three stages: application for extension of stay, visa, and residency. Since April, when the first phase began, 43,000  Venezuelans have registered to extend their stay and, on 1 July, the first group of 21 Venezuelans received their work visa.

“Now that I have my visa, I feel that for others like me a lot of opportunities are opening. We will be able to establish more safely and formally to offer a better future to our children,” says Gabriela Rivero, who arrived in the country with her husband and daughter in 2018.  “Once we settled, we did not imagine how difficult it would be to get a job because the lack of documentation closed all doors.”

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Since 2019 Gabriela has led a support organization for Venezuelan migrants in Santiago de los Caballeros called FEV (Fundación Emigrantes de Venezuela), which offers free orientation and helps hundreds of migrants daily to complete their normalization plan applications.

With IOM support, eight Venezuelan migrant organizations have created orientation hubs to assist the Venezuelan population who are applying to the plan. Of the 43,000  registered through the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) web page, around 9,000 have visited the hubs for help on the procedure. The promoters and coordinators of each hub – mostly Venezuelan migrants – have learned the process with the support and guidance of the DGM team and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX). Besides being trained for orientation, they became the pilot group of the plan to receive their extensions and visas.

“The idea of this process is that we are the ones at the front of the hubs, a migrant helping a migrant, a Venezuelan helping a Venezuelan,” says Iván Carrera, a lawyer from Caracas and legal adviser of FUNCOVERD (Fundación Colonia de Venezolanos en RD). Carrera works as a promoter at the orientation hub in El Sambil Santo Domingo, one of the locations with the most people requesting support for their application.

READ  Searching for closure: New study examines challenges facing families of missing migrants in the UK

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  Over 6,000 stranded migrants assisted back home through EU support

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

READ  IOM refutes allegations Eritreans held, processed for forced return

“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  Frightened residents brace as Cyclone Eloise approaches Mozambique

 

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