A new phase of the campaign to raise public awareness on the dangers and risks of irregular migration in Nigeria by the Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN) has commenced. Round of dialogue with multipliers such as journalists, youth groups, women associations, students, artists and religious and traditional leaders, to hold in Abuja, Enugu, Lagos and Benin-City.
Despite last October’s CNN footage, showing African migrants being auctioned as slave labourers and causing a worldwide outrage, thousands are still daily bracing the dangers and risks of reaching Europe through irregular routes.
The UN’s International Organization for Migration reported on 19 July that 1,443 have drowned so far in 2018 as the Mediterranean route remains most lethal. The figure does not include those who have died travelling across the Sahara Desert or in the transit countries.
The rising human costs of irregular migration have necessitated concerted action from governments and voluntary groups.
This is the realisation that gave birth to Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN) in 2017. The “Know the Facts” campaign, supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was borne out of the fact that most Nigerians who embark on irregular migration were not properly informed before making the decision.
The media awareness campaign, captioned ‘Look before you Leave’, is designed to educate would-be migrants in Nigeria about the realities of the journey to Europe.
MEPN seeks to sensitize society to the problem of irregular migration and the enormous costs that families and the nation pay.
The current campaign, a follow-up to the one of last year, principally consists of a round of dialogue, holding in Abuja (18 August), Enugu (25 August 2018), Lagos (8 September) and Benin-City (15 September 2018), with multipliers such as journalists, youth groups, women associations, students, artists and religious and traditional leaders, among others. This will be complemented with a street flyer distribution in those cities as well as in Warri and Ibadan from August to December 2018.
Between August and September 2018, the project co-directors will also visit media houses, places of worship, local politicians and traditional leaders, among others, to seek their support in spreading the message of the campaign.
While the MEPN Plus’s campaign focuses on the risks and dangers of irregular migration, and on providing information on legal ways to migrate; another plank of our endeavour is to encourage young people not to overlook positive alternatives to migration.