Home News IOM, FG, assist 34,694 stranded Nigerian migrants in 7 years

IOM, FG, assist 34,694 stranded Nigerian migrants in 7 years

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with the Federal Government has assisted 34,694 stranded Nigerian migrants to return home from April 2017 till date.

Cyprine Cheptepkeny, Awareness Raising Programme Officer, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Nigeria, said this during a media training on Amplifying Women’s Voices in Migration Decision Making on Wednesday in Lagos.

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Cheptepkeny said that out of the 34,694 assisted voluntary returnees, 19,579 were male and 15,115 were female.

She said that the returnees were evacuated from Libya, Chad, Morocco, Mali, Germany, Netherlands, Ghana, among others.

According to her, 28,204 survivors were reintegrated, among which 16, 264 were male, and 11,940 were female.

Cheptepkeny said that reintegration was a core activity of IOM Nigeria which assists migrants willing to return home and supports their reintegration.

She said that the returnees received in-kind reintegration assistance, including vocational education and training to help them start an income-generating activity of their choice.

Cheptepkeny noted that the dynamics of the migration pattern had shifted, as data had shown an increased number of women migrating in the last few years.

She said that the media was critical at framing migration narrative, advising media practitioners to ensure stigma-free language, promote balanced, inclusive news coverage and ensure media standards and ethics.

Also, Mrs Maureen Ovie, Head, Migration Resource Centre, said that data showed that 45 per cent of women travel independently, saying the present trend indicates the statistics would increase.

Ovie noted that many women have unrealistic expectations, lack of proper information on the migration process and procedures thereby exposing themselves to exploitation.

She said that the government plays a critical role in increasing awareness on regular migration, counseling, training to boost employability and gender-responsive environment.

According to her, the government will ensure fair recruitment practices and monitoring of private recruitment agencies, adding that recent findings showed that quacks hide under recruitment to traffick persons.

Similarly, Ms Ijeoma Ifeobu, Head of Migration (South West), National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally displaced Persons (NCFRMI), said the federal government was working assiduously to ensure right messages are promoted to reduce irregular migration.

Commenting, Ms Enitan Ibironke, a lawyer and migration counselor, said many people risk their lives attempting to reach Europe through irregular migration.

Ibironke advised the media to focus on developing additional tools, resources and digital content on various platforms to assist women make informed decisions.

Mrs Rita Folawewo, Executive Director, Girls Inspired Development Network (GIDN), said the training seeks to enhance the capabilities of journalists in Lagos in amplifying women’s voices in migration decision-making processes.

Folawewo said that the training addresses challenges faced by the media in strengthening the discourse; highlight resources, tools, and opportunities for the media and improve documentation of women’s stories for justice and human rights.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by Girls Inspired Development Network (GIDN), under its Connect HER Project and ‘Japa Right Media Campaign with support from The Migrant Project.

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