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JIFORM calls for multi-dimensional approaches to tackling human trafficking

 


EveryJanuary 11, being a date set aside for awareness against human trafficking gathers momentum from the US since 2000 to the other parts of world, to this end, every hand must be on the deck in Africa and other continents to halt the heineous crime against humanity.

This is the position of the Journalists International Forum For Migration, JIFORM, comprising over 300 journalists covering migration across the globe while declaring support for the day as a prelude to the July 30 World Anti-human Trafficking day initiated by the United Nations in 2013 as the media foundation prepares to host the African migration summit in partneship with the NEKOTECH Center for Excellence in Ghana by February this year.

The Blue Heart campaign for 2021 Anti-human trafficking awareness represents the sadness of those who were trafficked, it’s reminds us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings

Ajibola Abayomi, President, JIFORM in a statement on Sunday called for multi dimensional approaches from nations to tackle human trafficking, a form of modern day slavery, that involves the illegal trading of people for exploitation or commercial gains rated $150 billion as second largest crime network according to the UN.

READ  Nigeria evacuates 160 stranded citizens from US

JIFORM called for more supports for anti-human trafficking agencies coupled with intra/inter-agency collaborations within and outside nations.

 

As a way out, the continent needs deliberate and sincere steps to revamp it’s economy in order to eradicate poverty, youths/women empowerment and creation of multilateral platforms expecially between Africa and the Middle East to facilitate negotiation of decent work for African migrants as being championed by Dr Princess A.K Ocansey, a member of the African Union Labour Migration Advisory Commiittee from Ghana.

 

Noting that government of Nigeria deserves a pat on the back for the commendable fight against human trafficking over the years through the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), JIFORM however said there were still gaps to cover in the areas preventive tactics, full committement to financial needs and budget of NAPTIP and upgrading of the agency as both uniform cum arm bearing outfit.

“Africa, starting from Nigeria, the most populous black nation that ranks 32 out 167 countries with highest numbers of slaves put at 1,386,000 is in the dire need of realistic economic strategy to achieve it’s 2063 agenda particularly the 20th agenda on the frame work that anticipated the continent to take full responsibility for her financing and development including incomes, jobs, decent work, action against poverty, inequality, hunger and social security.

READ  GCM has no value if it doesn’t change migrants’ life- NCFRMI boss Sen Basheer Mohammed

 

“The fact remains that two thirds of the money from the illicit human trafficking figure ($99 billion) is generated from commercial sexual exploitation, while another $51 billion results from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture and other economic activities through the smuggling routes from East, North and West Africa to Europe is said to generate $150 million in annual profits ( $35 billion globally) for human trafficking.

 

“Further to the UN’s report which positioned Africa as the prevalent zone recording 9.24 million slaves with high vulnerability as one of the most affected zones of human trafficking estimated by the Global Slavery Index in July 2018 indicated that there were 40.3 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, 71% of whom are women and girls and 25% of which are children.

“As at January 7, 2019 the number of children in slavery at almost 1/3 of all global victims.) 99% of the 4.8 million victims of commercial sexual exploitation in 2016 were women and girls, with one in five being children (ILO, 2017). Women and girls represented 84% of the 15.4 million people in forced marriages, and 59% of 5 those in private forced labour stated by Alliance 2017 Report, of these lots, African are in large numbers, Ajibola said.

READ  Again, Nigeria denies deportation of nationals from Germany

 

 

E-signed

 

Ajibola Abayomi

President JIFORM.

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IOM assists border control on route linking Ethiopia, Kenya

IOM has helped to establish a new Border Control Post between Ethiopia and Kenya. Photo: Rahel Negussie/IOM

Addis Ababa – Ethiopia, Africa’s second largest country (by population) after Nigeria, is also one of the continent’s largest sources of international migrants.

Along its vast national circumference –some 5,311 kilometres, connecting Ethiopia to Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia– government control posts are limited. Lack of adequate staffing and modern technology impedes proper migration management, a matter of concern for national governments as well as for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

At the start of this new year, IOM has helped open a new Border Control Post (BCP) between Ethiopia and Kenya. The post, at Neprumus in Ethiopia’s Dasenech district, straddles one of the 830-kilometer Ethiopia-Kenya frontier’s most frequented migratory routes, alongside a major route for Ethiopian migrants trying to reach South Africa. Ethiopians normally pass through Kenya into Tanzania, then travel further south.

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In March 2020, at least 60 Ethiopian irregular migrants were killed after being trapped in a lorry along this route. Hence, the urgent need for better and improved border control posts in the region.

“Supporting the establishment of modern and efficient BCPs will facilitate safe and orderly migration of citizens, enhance the relationship between bordering countries, provide protection, and increase the political and socio-economic stability between Ethiopia and Kenya,” explained Kederalah Idris, IOM’s Better Migration Management (BMM) Project Officer.

IOM is also supporting Ethiopia’s Immigration, Nationality, and Vital Events Agency (INVEA) with training to enhance the capacity of immigration officers, and at the same time supplying infrastructure and office equipment, computers, and generators to establish new border control posts.

“Strengthening BCP will play a great role in facilitating safe movement of community members to neighbouring Kenya and will create job opportunities for the community. In addition, it will have a big contribution in facilitating regular migration, while monitoring irregular movements,” said INVEA Director-General, Mujib Jemal, during his opening speech. He also recognized IOM and the zonal administration’s efforts in facilitating the opening of the BCP.

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At stake is more than improved border efficiency. IOM sees hope for improved trade benefiting the regional economy and raising livelihoods for some 48,000 people living in the Dasenech District.

Health checks are also being integrated into the BCP, which is a timely development given that COVID-19 continues to affect the nation. As of 18 January, there has been 131,546 confirmed cases in Ethiopia leading to 2,033 deaths. Against this COVID-19 backdrop, IOM looks forward to these new controls reducing mobility restrictions and facilitating movement of goods, services and skills. Beyond commerce, IOM also views BCPs as vital for protecting people from falling prey to human smugglers and traffickers.

Plans are to open more BCPs in the Pagag, Kurmuk, and Fefrer border towns in Gambella, Benishangul Gumuz, and Somali regions, bordering South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia respectively.

During the inauguration attended by representatives from IOM and senior officials from INVEA, IOM Ethiopia received a ‘Certificate of Recognition’ from the Ethiopian authorities for the support to strengthening Ethiopia’s border management and control efforts.

READ  Again, Nigeria denies deportation of nationals from Germany

The establishment of this important BCP is supported by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

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Amid 2020 pandemic IOM supported over 2,500 migrants with voluntary return from Greece

Dudu and his family taking some selfie pictures before departing to Georgia. Photo: Konstantina Mintzoli/IOM
A family from Iraq receiving transportation assistance from IOM to the airport in Athens. Photo: Konstantina Mintzoli/IOM

Athens – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supported the voluntary return of some 2,565 people from Greece to their home countries in 2020, in coordination with the Greek authorities and respective countries’ diplomatic representatives.

Amid hardships and challenges induced by COVID-19 in the past year—including mobility restrictions and closed borders—many migrants living in Greece expressed interest in returning voluntarily to their home countries.

“It is extremely important to be able to continue offering the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration support during this challenging period, as for many migrants, COVID-19 posed additional challenges to their stay in the EU,” explained Gianluca Rocco, Chief of the IOM Mission in Greece.

The 2,565 Returnees from Greece through IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme originated from 46 countries, with the largest contingent (734 migrants) coming from Pakistan. This was followed by Georgia (529 migrants), Iraq (489), Afghanistan (188) and Iran (163). Thirty per cent of migrants assisted were males between the ages of 22 and 29.

READ  UNHCR, IOM call for a truly common and principled approach to European migration and asylum policies

The number of returns fluctuated throughout 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, from 868 in the first quarter to 300 per month at the end of the year.  Since launched in Greece in 2010, IOM’s AVRR programme has assisted more than 50,000 people to voluntarily return to their home countries.

In 2020, IOM developed initiatives to overcome challenges, mitigate negative impact on migrants and ensure that Ministry of Health protocols were applied to all without discrimination. IOM medical teams provided assessments and medical examinations, including COVID-19 testing. In addition, relevant information was communicated through online outreach activities, and the dissemination of leaflets and posters to migrant communities. In parallel, helplines operating in 13 languages supported remote counselling as needed.

“We worked intensively with the Greek authorities and the Embassies of countries of origin to develop new cooperation mechanisms to overcome mobility restrictions and make the returns possible, particularly for the most vulnerable,” said IOM’s Rocco.

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IOM Greece also established an Online Scheduling Appointment (OSA) platform through which potential beneficiaries were able to book counselling appointments online.

When commercial flights were not available, IOM organized charter flights to Georgia and Iraq for 433 people in total in close collaboration with all relevant actors in Greece and the two destination countries.

Prior to their departure from Greece, migrants who applied for AVRR had the opportunity to access temporary accommodation facilities including the Open Centre for migrants (OCAVRR) in Athens.  IOM also provided a cash grant to cover returnees’ initial basic expenses after their departure.

Upon return, 1,008 migrants who qualified under the programme for in-kind reintegration assistance were able to use the support to set up small businesses (individually or in partnership), training programmes, temporary accommodation, job placements, medical support and material assistance.

IOM reiterates the importance of promoting the systematic inclusion of reintegration assistance as a force for stability in communities of return and as a bridge between migrant return and sustainable development.

READ  FEATURE: Migration, governance and media reporting

Download here for a snapshot view of the programme’s main 2020 highlights.

The project “The implementation of assisted voluntary returns including reintegration measures and operation of Open Center in the Prefecture of Attica for applicants of voluntary return (AVRR/OCAVRR)” is 75 per cent  co-funded by European Funds (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund) and 25 per cent by Greek National Funds.

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Human trafficking: PJI  urges proper trauma management for returnees

The Pathfinder Justice Initiative (PJI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called for proper trauma care for migrant returnees to prevent them from becoming vulnerable to subsequent trafficking.

Evon Benson-Idahosa, the Executive Director, PJI, made the call at a Rehabilitation Workshop for Providers Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking held in Benin on Thursday.

The workshop was organised by PJI and funded by INSighT- Building Capacity to deal with human trafficking and transit routes to Nigeria, Italy and Sweden.

Benson-Idahosa said that a majority of returnee-migrants usually undergo different traumatic situations and needed to be properly rehabilitated before being integrated back into the society. She noted that if the migrant returnees were not properly rehabilitated, they would not be able to put into good use any form of skills acquisition or empowerment received.

“Providers serving survivors should know how to handle traumatised victims because many of them, especially females, have been raped and have gone through horrible experiences during their trafficking journey.

READ  Migrants among most vulnerable, as IOM ramps up coronavirus response worldwide

“The providers should know that there are best practices in terms of handling trafficked victims; they need to use a survivor centred approach to prioritise the needs of the victims,” she said.

She called on the government at all levels to partner more with NGOs on providing best traumatic care for returned migrants in the country.

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Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

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