IOM Supports Government in Sustaining Safe Migration Awareness Raising Interventions across Ghana
Accra - Over the last weeks (11/2 to 12/3), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) trained Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) officers of the Migration Information Centres (MICs) in Takoradi, Western Region, Tamale, Northern Region, and Sunyani, Bono Region on development and implementation of safe migration campaigns. About 70 GIS officers participated in the trainings as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF).
The trainings covered, migration terminologies, communication for development tools, guidance to develop a campaign, including identifying target groups and developing call to action messages, as well as monitoring and evaluation.
“Do not end the learning journey here but continue with networking, collaboration and educating yourselves, so you will become experts in the field of awareness raising on safe migration,” said Rose Tsorhey, Director of, Policy Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of the Interior, addressed to trainees in Takoradi.
Participating officers received a package of awareness raising materials developed in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, as part of the multimedia awareness raising campaign that ran in 2020 under #LetsTalkMigration. Materials include video testimonies of returnees, radio jingles, posters and postcards, and a guide on running safe migration campaigns.
“The training has enriched our knowledge and skills in the performance of our duties as we learnt more about how to effectively conduct awareness raising sessions in the communities, via radio, schools, markets and other public spaces,” said Chief Supt John Morcher, the Officer in Charge at the MIC in Sunyani.
Furthermore, ICT sessions of the trainings included basic and advanced excel training and the development of databases to monitor the visits at the MICs. The improvement of data collection and processing is key in identifying the profiles of the visitors and tailor the services accordingly.
IOM has been working closely with the Government of Ghana these last years to make the management of migrants’ return and reintegration sustainable, so interventions in support of returnees will continue beyond the EU-IOM Joint Initiative. To reinforce capacities of officers operating in migration-prone communities to effectively carry out safe migration awareness raising activities is a crucial aspect in the coordinated effort to curb irregular migration.
The GIS has established MICs in the three locations which have been identified as migration-prone areas to help people take informed migratory decisions. The aim of the MICs is to provide accurate information on migration procedures and required documentation, the risks of irregular migration, fraudulent practices of employment agencies, and the rights and responsibilities of migrants throughout the migration process.
“The MIC is like a learning centre for some of us who want to travel outside the country. The information we receive is very important to inform the decision on migration. I urge everyone to go and seek proper advice before traveling. It will save you from being deceived by smugglers,” says Appiah, a community member, about his experience at the MIC in Sunyani.
The three regions – Western, Bono and Northern region – are among those that have recorded the highest numbers of return of migrants stranded in Libya since 2017, according to data collected by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative. Takoradi, Tamale and Sunyani are the capital cities of otherwise rural areas. A lack of economic opportunities, especially for youth, a common characteristic of the three regions, is one of the main drivers of irregular migration.
“While we work closely with local assemblies on establishing community projects that create livelihood opportunities for returnees and community members alike, the partnership with GIS is crucial in ensuring that the youthful population has access to reliable and accurate information about safe migration pathways as well as the dangers of irregular migration,” explains Collins Yeboah, IOM Ghana Outreach Assistant and facilitator of the trainings.
Previously, in November 2020, IOM had donated technical and audiovisual equipment to the GIS to support its officers to carry out and document awareness-raising interventions. Donated equipment included projectors, projector screens, microphones, speakers, cameras, generators, and pull-up banners, amongst others.
For more information, please contact Collins Yeboah, IOM Ghana Outreach Assistant, at [email protected]