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RicosMigration Joins Fight Against Irregular Migration, Human Trafficking



RicosMigration group joins the fight against irregular migration and human trafficking by training local volunteers and sensitizing secondary students in Benin City.

The project titled “Nigerian Youths Say No to Irregular Migration” was aimed at deterring young people from engaging in the desperate journey from Nigeria to Europe. The goal of the project is to recruit and empower local volunteers to speak in rural schools on the dangers of irregular migration.

The Principal Investigator of Ricosmigration, Mr Chinedu Obi, led the training of 8 Local Volunteers. The training was conducted in Benin City on the 14th of November 2018. The resource persons include officials of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Others include Dr. Osamuyi Oni Ekhusuehi, the director of schools, Edo State Ministry of Education, and Mr. Nduka Nwanwenne, the Edo Zonal Commander, National Agency For Prohibition Of Trafficking in Persons.

Speaking during the Local volunteers training session, Nwanwenne condemned the illicit activities of human traffickers in Benin City. According to him, they prey on young people ignorance and coercing them into a diabolic agreement.

While thanking the Oba of Benin for revoking the curses the binds victims of human trafficking, he congratulated the volunteers for being selected and charged them to discharge their duties effectively.

The School sensitization program was conducted using different methods.

The school sensitization program which was conducted from the 19th to 23rd November had a total of 11 secondary schools participated covering about 10,000 students. Some of the schools were located in Ekpoma, Abudu, Edo, Uhi and Uvbe in Edo State. The one-hour lectures in each school include sessions on the meaning of international migration, the differences between safe and unsafe (irregular) migration, how to avoid human traffickers, and making better choices with respect to migration and livelihood.

Different methods were used for delivering the safe migration message. These include Video, seminar, and leaflet. The aim is to find the most effective means of delivering the safe migration message to the students.

In one of the school sensitization, Dr. Osamuyi Oni Ekhosuehi, the director of schools, Edo Ministry of Education was the special guest and the resource person. While praising the passion and effort put in by the Ricosmigration Local volunteers, she called on other NGOs to emulate the Ricosmigration team.

The School sensitization program was conducted using different methods.

Ricosmigration also presented customized exercise books to all students at the end of each visit. Receiving the books on behalf of the students, the school principals showed strong support for the rural school sensitizations on safe migration. They agreed that the young people in rural areas do not get access to most of the migration sensitization programs conducted in urban areas, yet they are most vulnerable to human traffickers. Even as they encourage Ricosmigration to reach as many rural schools as possible, they affirmed that they would continue sensitizing their students on the issue.

It would be recalled that Edo State is widely known for its high rate of youth emigration through the irregular routes. Despite efforts like strict border control and deportation by the European authorities, many youths have continued to engage in a desperate journey to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea, yet some losing their lives in the process. With the new policies in Italy that restrict the activities of rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea, more life per arrival has been lost this year than previous years.

Nigerian youths need to know the new dangers associated with irregular migration and be able to withstand the pressure to travel abroad irregularly.

To this end, RicosMigration, a grassroots initiative was launched by Mr Chinedu Obi, a PhD Joint student of Ghent University Belgium and the University of Pisa Italy. The project receives funding from the German Foreign Office. RicosMigration is also a finalist project at the 2018 BCFN Young Earth Solution Award and have received technical support from the Foundation San Giovanni Battista di Ragusa.




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