International Migrants Day 2020: IOM invites to reimagine human mobility together

Published Date: 
Fri, 12/18/2020 - 18:15
Country: 
Ghana

The global pandemic has exposed all of us to unprecedented challenges, and migrants, including returnees and survivors of trafficking, are among those who have felt the negative impact of COVID-19 the most. On International Migrants Day, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ghana and its partners reaffirm our commitment to safe and dignified migration for all. Join us as we are “Reimagining Human Mobility”.

Convinced of the power of art to reach the people and to create bridges, for this Migrants Day, IOM Ghana has joined forces again with the artists from the Ghana Graffiti collective and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to create a new mural in Accra, in Nima on the Kanda highway, realized through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). Under the creative leadership of Mohammed Awudu, the artists help us, with their artistic interpretation of the theme, to reimagine the future of migration amid COVID-19.

“International Migrants Day is a unique opportunity for us to celebrate the diversity of our city. Which better way to do that than through the creation of a bright and colourful piece of street art in one of the most diverse communities of Accra, that reminds us that the majority of movements happens within the continent and within the region,” said Mayor of Accra, Honourable Mohammed Adjei Sowah.

In 2020, millions of migrants got stranded, often without income or shelter, unable to return home due to COVID-19 mobility restrictions. Working together, governments are finding ways to get them home safely while addressing important public health concerns.

“As the United Nations in Ghana continues to work with stakeholders and partners, to support the Government of Ghana and all people to recover better from the crisis, we are mindful of ensuring an inclusive response plan, where all people, including migrants, are considered,” said Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana.

Amid COVID-19, IOM Ghana has continued to support Ghanaian migrants with return and reintegration assistance, a task that has become even more urgent as the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 has been severe for many of them.

“As we move from pandemic response to recovery, we need all partners on board – policymakers, civil society, community leaders, the media – to ensure that no migrant is left behind. Our joint commitment is needed for the successful implementation of the Global Compact for Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Abibatou Wane-Fall, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission.

Due to the global pandemic, IOM has adapted its Migrants Day activities that usually bring together hundreds of people in various communities across the country. A series of radio interventions, including on Twin City Radio (Takoradi), Goodnews FM (Western Region), DormaaFM (Bono Region), Shalom Radio (Berekum, Bono Region), and West Africa Democracy Radio, took place throughout the week.

A special radio show was organised on 3 FM (Accra) in the morning of Migrants Day which featured IOM Ghana Goodwill Ambassador Kofi Kinaata. The programme also ensured that the voices of our youth, who are indeed our future, are heard, through the participation of Emmanuel Ametepey, Executive Director of Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG).

“I continue to use my music and my platform to promote safe migration. I know I can reach a lot of young people who might not have access to accurate information about regular and irregular migration,” said Kofi Kinaata, reaffirming his commitment as IOM Ghana Goodwill Ambassador.

The focus on the youth continued with Kofi Kinaata’s Made in Taadi Youth Seminar on 22 December 2020, which looked to present the youth with opportunities at home and entrepreneurial skills needed amid COVID-19. It was an occasion to speak with the youth about safe migration pathways and addressing the issue of irregular migration through a screening of the short film “Agadez” by Ian Barling, as part of the 2020 Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF). This year, due to the circumstances, the youth seminar gathered a limited audience of 100 in Takoradi, and was livestreamed to 600,000 people via Kofi Kinaata’s facebook page.

IOM thanks all partners, including the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) through its Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration, for their support of the 2020 International Migrants Day activities.

For more information, please contact Juliane Reissig, Public Information Officer at IOM Ghana, at JREISSIG@iom.int