IOM, Ghana Immigration Service, CSOs, scale up efforts to raise awareness among communities of safe migration

Published Date: 
Mon, 11/16/2020 - 18:00
Country: 
Ghana

Accra – To support the sustainability of awareness-raising activities on safe migration in Ghana, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with support from the European Union under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, donated on 12 November technical and audiovisual equipment to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

The donated equipment includes projectors, projector screens, microphones, speakers, cameras, generators, and pull-up banners, amongst others. It will allow GIS officers to carry out and document awareness-raising activities on the risks of irregular migration and regular pathways in migration-prone areas across the country.

GIS has been running awareness-raising activities through its Migration Information Centre (MIC) in Sunyani (Bono region) since 2016 and Takoradi (Western region) and Tamale (Northern region) since 2019, as well as a Migration Information Bureau in Accra, the capital city. These centres were set up with support from IOM and the European Union to ensure Ghanaians - returnees and prospective migrants alike - have access to accurate and reliable information on migration to enable them to take informed migratory decisions.

“As stipulated in the Global Compact for Migration, we have a shared responsibility. To really ensure that no one is left behind and that every Ghanaian has access to reliable information and assistance, we need all players on board – policymakers, civil society, community leaders, and the media. And most importantly: we need the stories and voices of migrants and returnees themselves. They are the most powerful and authentic messengers,” reminds Abibatou Wane-Fall, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission.

IOM will also conduct a training workshop on awareness-raising and computer skills for staff of MICs in Tamale, Takoradi, and Sunyani.

“The trainings will help the GIS officers at the MICs to improve their capacities in playing the role of safe migration ambassadors, and the equipment will go a long way to enhance the ongoing public sensitization programmes of the GIS,” said Kwame Asuah Takyi, Comptroller-General at the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana, IOM, as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, has revamped its awareness-raising efforts to include COVID-19 prevention messages in its community outreach sessions.

Recently, IOM has engaged six Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that have carried out awareness-raising interventions in over 150 communities in six regions (Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Ashanti, Western, Northern) in the past months, targeting specifically the youthful population.

“Youth needs to be informed about the risks of irregular migration but moreover about how to seize opportunities in Ghana,” said Ms. Maria Luisa Troncoso, Head of Governance Section at the European Union Delegation to Ghana.

In July 2020, the Organization, in collaboration with the Government, also launched the nation-wide multimedia campaign under the hashtag #LetsTalkMigration to promote safe migration, enable youth to make informed migration decisions and look for opportunities in Ghana before embarking on a perilous journey, and invite for an open conversation on migration.

“After my service, I would like to travel to further my education. I didn’t know there was anything irregular about migration, I would have used any means available to me, but today, I know the safe way to travel to protect myself,” said Sharifa, a Student of Kwapong Nursing Training School and participant in a community intervention run by partner CSO GIRD, the Global Institute of Resource Development.

Overall, since 2017, 319 awareness-raising sessions have taken place in communities and schools across the country, while radio and TV broadcasts with similar messages have reached approximately 1,100,000 Ghanaians nationwide.

All these efforts were made possible with support from the European Union under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

For more information, please contact Juliane Reissig at IOM Ghana, Email: jreissig@iom.int