Nigerian Government Officials Share Insights at Communication for Development Workshop
Lagos – From 16 to 18 August, representatives of government, non-governmental and faith-based organizations from Nigeria participated in a three-day workshop on Communication for Development (C4D) organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in the country’s largest city.
The participants, close to fifty members of seven government agencies and seventeen non-state actors from Lagos, Edo and Delta States, were trained on behavior change communication techniques for promoting safe migration through information, education and communication (IEC) activities.
C4D is a participatory process whereby organizations work with target communities to develop solutions to social problems based on social and behavioral change.
The event consisted of various individual and group activities aimed at equipping participants with skills on strategic planning, message development and audience analysis. It follows the first-ever media workshop on migration in West Africa held from 18 to 20 July in Benin City.
During the workshop, participants were invited to reflect on the push factors of irregular migration in in Nigeria. One group mentioned the lack of knowledge on how to obtain valid travel documents, financial obstacles and lack of livelihood opportunities in the country.
The participants also provided feedback on the impact of existing communication-based outreach initiatives developed by IOM such as Migrants as Messengers and Aware Migrants which are current examples of community-based approaches to awareness raising. “These projects are designed to cause behavioural change among potential migrants, their friends and families by helping other potential migrants make informed decisions and consider safer alternatives to migration,” said Frantz Celestin, IOM Nigeria Deputy Chief of Mission.
For Lawrence Omoregie, representative from the Centre for Edo/Delta Development Initiative (CEDDI) in Edo State, the training was the ideal opportunity to engage in such an important topic. “Previously, CEDDI had used a top-down approach to raise awareness of the dangers of irregular migration and human trafficking. With this training, CEDDI will implement a bottom-up approach as suggested during the workshop to ensure the ownership and impact our messages,” he said.
During a brainstorming session, representatives of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) showcased their use of theatre shows and mobile cinema as communication tools.
Participants commented on the role of government agencies in achieving safe migration in the country following a presentation by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). “NAPTIP needs to enhance the prosecution of abusers and traffickers as a key element in their policies,” said one of the trainees.
Among the main conclusions, participants voiced their commitment to engage in community mobilization, encouraging the use of media to discourage a culture of silence around human trafficking, as well as creating safe spaces and hotlines where people can call anonymously to report cases of abuse.
In 2017, there were 119,369 migrant arrivals by sea via the Central Mediterranean route, of which the majority were Nigerian (18,158). As of July, so far this year the Italian Ministry of Interior has recorded the arrival of 1,248 Nigerian migrants to Italy by sea via the Central Mediterranean route. Additionally, Nigeria is one of the top ten African countries of origin of almost 3,500 victims of trafficking assisted by IOM according to the Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative, a central repository for critical information about this crime.
For more information please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org