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Trafficking: Lebanon suspends working visas for Nigerians seeking domestic work

Lebanon has suspended issuing working visas to Nigerians seeking domestic work in the Middle East country.  Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria Amb. Houssam Diab, disclosed this on Thursday (June 4, 2020) when the Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa visited him in his Abuja office. He said that the mission had suspended the issuance since May 1.

Amb. Diab stated that the suspension started since May 1, following the video of Peace Busari, a Nigerian lady, auctioned by a non-Lebanese person on social media in April this year, went viral.

He said the suspension was “to stem the tide for such categories of workers pending the time the procedure would be properly harmonise with the Ministry of Labour modalities.”

Thus far, the Ambassador said the Lebanese government in conjunction with the Lebanese community in Nigeria had brought back 69 out of 79 Nigerians allegedly stranded and abused by their bosses back to the country.

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He explained that the remaining 10 Nigerians, who would be transported home soon after the Covid-19 lockdown, have some cases to answer and would be repatriated home once they are through with their cases.

He clarified that the Embassy and the Lebanese community paid over $150,000 USD to evacuate the 69 Nigerians and also paid for their 14 days quarantine, adding that they were not trafficked nor went to Lebanon illegally but were abused by their employers who also breached the…

Working agreement and did not have money to bring them back. The Ambassador regrettably said though some of them did not want to come back to Nigeria despite their challenges but preferred to change their work place to be able to pay up their agents who facilitated their coming.

Earlier, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa said she came to know when the remaining 10 Nigerians would be brought back into the country to start a new life and stressed the need for some level of awareness.

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She said the Commission is working out an arrangement with the Ministry of Labour to model it after the Philippines working scheme where verification and certification must be provided between agents, employers and prospective employees, to prevent further unfortunate cases.

She added that a platform should be available for aggrieved domestic staff to lay complaints, legally. The Chairman commended the Amb for his assistance especially in evacuating 69 Nigerians and the safe release of the Nigerian lady who was advertised for sale on social media.

 

Dabiri-Erewa however said it is necessary for the public to know that the girl refused to come back to Nigeria but preferred to renegotiate with another employer in Lebanon and has since gained employment there.

Highlight of the meeting include a resolution for both the Lebanese Ambassador and the Chairman, NiDCOM, to work for the growth and development of both the Nigerian and Lebanese Diaspora. Abdur-Rahman Balogun. Head, Media and Public* *Relations Unit, NIDCOM Abuja.

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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.

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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  Over 140 migrants perish in deadliest shipwreck of the year

“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  Russian sailors jailed in Greece for 400 years for trafficking migrants – Reports

 

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FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK

Kelvin

The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.

Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.

Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.

“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.

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READ  IOM, humanitarian partners roll out new decongestion strategy in Borno IDP camps
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