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Covid- 19: Migrants, refugees, IDPs might not access concomitant human rights enshrined in international law -AU

Libya RETURNEES
With increasing global consensus that migration and mobility restrictive measures should be imposed in line with the strategy to contain the spreading of COVID-19, the African Union has expressed worries that miigrants, refugees, and IDPs might not access concomitant human rights enshrined in the international law .

The AU’s concern was contained in a communique issued by the union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 10, 2020.
In the communique titled: ‘Migration & Mobility in Contexts of COVID-19’, the UA appealed that when adopting and implementing COVID-19 responses, governments should adhere to international law and the respect of the rights and humane dignity of Migrants.

The communique reads: “The African Union fully subscribes to the global mantra and aspiration to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration. The global number of COVID-19 cases reported by the World Health Organization reached 1 476 819 cases of COVID-19 on 9th April 2020. Precisely, the COVID-19 is a global catastrophe with detrimental and adverse effects on all socio-economic fundamental pillars.

“The African Union recognizes that Migration and Mobility is central in the strategy to subdue COVID-19 and that movements including international traveling have been restricted by many countries as the borders are closed in order to contain COVID-19.

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Rwandan refugees
“The Africa CDC continues to conduct daily surveillance and produces real time reports on COVID-19. The data shows a deteriorating situation in Africa as countries are reporting increase on infection and mortality rates. Chief among the domains severely impacted is Migration and Mobility. Since Africa CDC and WHO started monitoring of COVID-19 related global mobility restrictions, it is observed that the total number of restrictions issued has increased.”

The African Union commended AU countries’ sovereign COVID-19 restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus by invoking extreme measures such as State of Emergency in order to bring to a grinding halt all forms mobility at a national level, adding: “While global consensus abounds that Migration and Mobility restrictive measures should be imposed in line with the strategy to contain the spreading of
COVID-19 and having adopted progressive policy Migration frameworks, the African Union is concerned that vulnerable populations such as Migrants, Refugees and IDPs might not access concomitant Human Rights enshrined in the international law.

“These groups of people of concern might have been already in transit or destination countries when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred and thus are trapped in these areas where lockdown or State of Emergency have been declared.

“Notably, African governments continue with commendable solidarity and patriotic gesture of repatriating their nationals stranded abroad. The African Union is alive to the reality that enforcing the promotion, respect and protection of Human Rights approaches in jurisdictions which have declared instruments of extreme human mobility control such as national disaster or state of emergency leading to lockdown, might be extremely challenging.

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“Be that as it may, the African Union calls for scrupulous adherence to international humanitarian law during lockdown as it applies to the persons of concern.

“It is an appeal of the African Union that when adopting and implementing COVID-19 responses, governments should adhere to international law and the respect of the rights and humane dignity of Migrants.

“In this regards, unilateral mass deportations worsen the desperate situation of migrants and can pose immense challenges to countries of origin of the migrants who are making efforts to create safe and humane environment to receive their returning nationals by setting up acceptable centers allowing for medical check and confinement.”

The union went ahead to call for enhanced cooperation between countries on repatriation of migrants in solidarity and mutual responsibility of governments.

“The African Union underscores the inalienable rights of the Migrants, Refugees and IDPs which remain intact at this extraordinary moment of restrictive mobility.

READ  Asylum-seekers reaching U.S. border are being flown to Guatemala

“The African Union further accentuates, the importance acting within the ambit cardinal principles of humane and respect of lives which enforcing measures to avert catastrophe associated with the advent of COVID-19.”

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Nigerians in Spain say no to genocide

Nigerians resident in Spain have kicked against bad governance and brutalitalisation of innocent citizens by security operatives in Nigeria.

They are in solidarity with the #Endsars protesters.

The #Endsars protest  started by young Nigerians to say no to brutality, impunity and gruesome killings in the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the government in the country saw security operatives using live bullets on the protesters last week, October 21, 2020.

In a statement signed by Afolabi Oloko, the Nigerians in Spain said: “In every part  of the world, including Nigeria, we believe protesting is a fundamental right of all citizenry that we can exercise whenever we deem it fit as long as it is civil and devoid of violence but such is not the case in Nigeria where the young future of the country are murdered by their very own government just because they made demands that there must be a reform to the notorious Police department and that the country be reformed in general. Have they asked for too much from a responsible and responsive government?

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“It is so disheartening that after Ten days that the youth refused to back down they resorted to killing, maiming of their own future generations just because they asked and begged for good governance and good policing. It’s a shame that young people are being killed all around the cities of Nigeria from Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Abuja, Ondo , Benin, Porthacort just to mention a few. It was horrendous seeing over seventy people being murdered at night while still protesting unarmed peacefully in Lekki area of Lagos state. They organised by switching off the street light while they carried out their evil deed against defenceless young people of the country and also took away the CCTV. The commander-in-chief of the Armed forces in person of President Muhamodu Buhari must be tried at the International court for genocide against it’s own people.

“We the compatriots far away in Spain are with our young brothers and sister on the streets saying no to bad governance as you’re in our hearts and prayers. We support you in the just cause you’re are fighting. Fighting for one’s future should not be seen as an affront to the authorities, rather they should look inward and realise that the system is rotten and should be cleansed but not killing innocent young men on the streets with Army being deployed to take lives of vibrant and resourceful, frustrated and change hungry citizens.
“Today, we came out in multitude in solidarity with our compatriots back home to say #ENDSARS! #ENDBADGOVERNANCE #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY #ENDCORUPTION #ENDTHEGENOCIDE”

READ  Child refugees have become pawns in a rightwing culture war

 

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ILO, IOM sign agreement to strengthen collaboration on migration governance

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) today signed an Agreement to create a framework for cooperation and collaboration to enhance the benefits of migration for all.

The framework includes joint support for improved migration governance, capacity building and policy coherence at national, regional and global levels. Other areas of work may also be developed.

The Agreement was signed by Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, and António Vitorino, the IOM Director-General, on Friday at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Ryder said, “this Agreement seals an important alliance between our two organizations. Together, we will be stronger and more effective in both fulfilling our individual mandates and in collaborating on areas that are crucial for reshaping the world of work so that it is more inclusive, equitable and sustainable.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a brutal impact on economies and societies. Vulnerable groups, particularly migrant workers and their families, are being disproportionately hit. There could be no better time to reinforce our partnership and combine our strengths, so that we can help countries and our constituents build back for a better future.”

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

DG Vitorino said, “the agreement that we are signing today will help us further solidify our collaboration at the time when joint solutions are so much needed, with a pandemic that is hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. As we move towards post-pandemic recovery, we fully embrace the call to build a better world together, tapping into the added value of each partner. With ILO, we have much to co-create and we look forward to future cooperation within the broader UN family, with our partner governments, private sector and civil society.”

The new ILO-IOM Agreement builds on the agencies’ comparative advantages, expertise, and respective constituencies. By encouraging joint initiatives, the Agreement aims to strengthen international migration governance and boost cooperation, capacity building and joint advocacy to promote migrants’ rights and decent work opportunities.

By encouraging social dialogue, it will allow workers` and employers` organizations – who sit equally with governments in the ILO’s tripartite membership structure – to contribute to policy discussions.

READ  IOM, Niger rescue 83 distressed migrants  in Sahara Desert

A workplan will be developed in the next six months to push forward the collaboration at global, regional and country levels and, more importantly, facilitate the implementation of the Agreement in the field, where both agencies are working directly with affected populations.

It will seek to enhance the agencies joint contribution to their member states, UN country teams, and societies to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Agreement will also allow the ILO and IOM to strengthen support for their respective constituencies in implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM), and contribute to other global and regional migration policy fora and debates.

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Stop enslavement of Africans in other continents- Experts tell African leaders

The second international migration summit by the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) ended on Friday, October 16, 2020,  at the Pensioners FM, Ibadan, Oyo State, with a call to  African leaders to deliver good governance to halt continued enslavement of the Africans in other continents through irregular migration.

The conference themed: Migration governance and media strategy for development   with physical and virtual presentations was attended by hundreds of journalists and other participants across the world.

President of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi, in his remark after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Diaspora Innovation Institute (DII), US, on training and investment opportunities for journalists, said the global media body with over 200 journalists spread across the continents as parts of the fallouts of the summit would produce glossary of terminologies for over 10,000 journalists and media houses beyond Africa.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Oluwaseyi Makinde of Oyo State hailed JIFORM’s  advocacy and identified poverty as the root cause of irregular migration pledging commitment to reverse the tide through good governance.

Represented by Barrister Olubunmi Ogunniran, Director General of Legal Administration, Oyo State Ministry of Justice, the governor said apart from rescuing trafficked indigenes of the state abroad and creating diaspora unit, he had inaugurated a task force against human trafficking, sexual offenders with prosecute department and further engagement of the youths through economic activities.

READ  COVID-19 driving Nicaraguan refugees to hunger, desperation

Minister of Labour Sierra Leone, Mr Alpha Timbo; Ghana Ambassador to Egypt, Lebanon and Sudan, Nii Okai Hammond, and the United Nations Youth Ambassador (Ghana), Lilian Addo, all praised what they tagged courageous movement by JIFORM and promised to support the body in its quest to further spread its advocacies.

Chairman of the summit, Patrick Lumumba,  rued the faulty labour and trade laws in Africa limiting development and called on the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) for ntervention to remove migration barriers causing undue frictions between Ghana and Nigeria ditto for the African Union to end the xenophobic attacks in South Africa against other African nationals.

He blamed the crisis on misapplication of resources and corruption among African leaders and urged them to retrace their steps to save the youths from desperate migration to other continents through the desert and the Mediterranean Sea.

Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Matters, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe lauded JIFORM’s efforts to eradicate irregular migration and vowed to rescue and end the suffering of stranded Nigerians lured through human trafficking to the Middle East and other Arabian nations through collaborations.

READ  Asylum-seekers reaching U.S. border are being flown to Guatemala

Member of African Union Advisory Committee on Labour Migration, (Ghana) Dr Princess Ocansey urged the African nations to end the Kafala bilateral agreement entered into with some Middle East countres that permitted the en-slavery of mostly African women.

“African leaders must wake up to save the youths from deadly work they are being subjected and replace that with decent work. The Kafala system is a shame and very dehumanizing” she said.

Former Canada Minister of Immigration, Gerry Weiner while delivering his presentation urged the African youths to acquit themselves with the right processes to tap into numerous diaspora opportunities in Canada and elsewhere.

Weiner, who had 12 years working experience in Africa, said only safe and regular migration, would guarantee the actualization of the desire to be part of  economic activities in the world.

The summit had participation from several international speaker that Prince Akin Ojomo from DII; included Johanna Mac from Erich Brost Institute, Germany; Barrister Samuel Adeusi and Ms Omotola Fawunmi both from the US; International Organization for Migration (IOM), Nigeria and Gambia; Rescue African Mission; Synergy Rescue Mission; ThisLebanon Lebanon; Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM); National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP); Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Ghana Immigration Service; Diaspora Innovation Institute, New York, America; and Ghana Immigration Service.

READ  UNHCR seeks support for refugees, hosts in Ethiopia

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