Experts Seek Regulation Of Travel Agencies To Check Illegal Migration, Human Trafficking
Participants at a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. UNHCR’s Asylum and Migration Strategy stakeholders’ meeting have called for regulation and sanctions of Traveling Agencies in the country to check the high rate of seasonal movements, refugees and asylum-seekers, human trafficking and unaccompanied children.
The meeting which was attended by key stakeholders was organised to illustrate the proposed priorities and activities for UNHCR in the asylum & migration space.
As part of UNHCR’s efforts to develop an asylum & migration strategy, convened a stakeholders’ inception meeting in June this year ,launched an in-depth study with the aim of providing a body of knowledge about asylum & migration in Nigeria in regard to persons of concern to UNHCR.
The scope, tools and methodology, as well as general research guides for the study was discussed at the inception meeting for uptake by a commissioned team of researchers.
The UNHCR Deputy Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS,Brigitte Mukanga-Eno called for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers while in transit through or within Nigeria.
“There are young people who are moving because they don’t have economic opportunities, unemployment is also on the rise, so some program can help the young people in creating some businesses locally as what they are going to look for outside, is essentially means of living and if they can do it here, we think that it could remove that will of going to do it abroad, particularly for those who do not even have the basics to get visas and go and develop programmes and business outside.”
“The African Union is working with the European Union, to improve on the legal migration. “Why can’t we organise proper ways for labour migration, instead of letting the young people, rejecting their request for visas and letting them take all these risky roads.”she said.
On his part, the President Pan African Institute of Global Affairs and Strategy, Amb. Martin Uhomoibhi, observed that developing countries are the greatest casualties of irregular migration.
“In 2016 alone, close to 9,000 people were lost going through the desert and the Mediterranean in search for greener pastures.”
“It has been tagged as modern day slavery and we want to stop this by all means possible and it can be ended through the commitment of nations and greater participation by countries looking for global multilateral solutions to these problems. It is not a national problem per se but a multilateral global challenge” Amb. Uhomoibhi said.
In an interview with newsmen the Special Assistant to Chairman, National Diaspora Commission,Mr Abdulrahman Balogun said government had taken some steps to check illegal movements in and outside the country.
Presenting the UNHCR research study findings, a UNHCR Consultant, Prof. Aderanti Adepoju, observed that the cost of documentation is the main reason for irregular migration.
“Travel Agencies are the major conduit of irregular Migration as they air bogus news. They should be stopped from airing provocative and untrue adverts that lure youths to engage in risky ventures.
“The Government should ensure that broadcasting corporations renew their responsibilities in monitoring these misleading adverts”
“There is the need to support data collection and provision of information sharing platforms for asylum seekers and refugees.”