IOM Holds a Two-day Workshop on Migration for Media Professionals in The Gambia

Banjul – The UN Migration agency (IOM) organized a two-day workshop at the Kairaba Beach hotel (30-31/01), gathering 25 Gambian media professionals to discuss the migration situation in West Africa, with a focus on reintegration of Gambian migrants returning home.

The workshop is part of a series of trainings organized under the project “EU-IOM Joint initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration: The Gambia”, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), with the specific aim of enhancing the knowledge of the Gambian media professionals on migration-related topics relevant to the Gambian context.

“Our wish is that you will become our voice but more importantly the returnees’ voices, able to make constructive calls to society in order to raise awareness about the risks of irregular migration and to join efforts in the common cause of reintegrating returnees into the Gambia” said Fumiko Nagano, IOM Gambia’s Chief of Mission, in her opening remarks.

On the first day, IOM experts presented  the dynamics of irregular migration in West Africa, the impact of media on public opinion when reporting on migration, and stressed the importance of using accurate terminology while ensuring the protection of vulnerable migrants.

On the second day, two returnees, Mr. Mass Jobe, the Manager of EMPAS and Mr. Moustapha Sala, Secretary General of Youth Against Irregular Migration (YAIM) shared their stories of return and explained to the participants how they reintegrated into society when they returned. “It is good to give back to your society. I received a lot and now I want to give back. There is the possibility to be successful here” said Jobe who built a poultry farm thanks to the support he received upon his return and who is now offering job opportunities to recent returnees.

The workshop ended with the first draft of a charter of principles that the attending journalists committed to respect when reporting on migration stories. Among others, the journalists highlighted as key principles the importance to respect the privacy of the interviewed migrants and to verify and cross-check data and their sources of information.

The Charter will be presented to the Gambian Press Union (GPU) for adoption in the upcoming weeks.

 

For more information, please contact Marianna Bertelle, at IOM Gambia; Tel: +220 21 69647, Email: mbertelle@iom.int