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IOM moves to end irregular migration, trafficking in persons

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The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Federal Government, yesterday, said they have facilitated the return of over 21,000 Nigerians stranded in Libya, Niger, Mali, European countries, and other countries.

Head of Sub-Office, IOM in Benin City, Edo State, Wintana Tarekegn, disclosed this during a town hall meeting on Safe Migration, adding: “IOM and the Federal Government have facilitated voluntarily return of over 21,000 Nigerians migrants, who were stranded abroad.”

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Tarekegn said the IOM, United Nations (UN) Migration Agency, were currently implementing several awareness-raising interventions in Nigeria, including Migrants as Messengers (MaM) designed to create positive change among potential migrants and their families and friends to make safe and informed migration decisions and promote the positive impact returning migrants bring to their communities.

She stressed that the town hall meeting was aimed at establishing ways and linkages on how to integrate migration discussions in schools to boost knowledge and awareness on the risk of irregular migration, human trafficking, and the smuggling of migrants.

Tarekegn added that it would promote safe migration and provide an avenue for social cohesion for returned migrants to reduce stigma and help them to fully integrate into society.

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She said stakeholders’ deliberations and contributions were crucial to developing holistic homegrown solutions and approaches to addressing irregular migration, trafficking in persons, and the smuggling of migrants.

Speaking on Integrating Migration Discussions in Schools Through Peer-to-Peer-Approach, Project Assistant Migration Management and Awareness Raising, Elijah Elaigwu, said the IOM discovered from research that, most students from various schools do not know much about irregular migration and so, decided to take the messages to their schools.

He said knowledge of the dangers of irregular migrations would help them to make the right decision and avoid the pitfalls of illegal migration, adding that the IOM had trained 43 volunteers in Edo, Lagos, and Delta states with a view to discouraging irregular migration in the country.

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