Wednesday, April 24Inside Business Africa

Violence, exploitation threatens irregular migrants from Nigeria, says IOM

A recent report by WAKA Well by IOM X, has indicated that irregular migrants from Nigeria and other West African states faces various forms of violence, exploitation and other abuses along the Central Mediterranean route.

WAKA Well by IOM X is an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) working in Nigeria. According to the report irregular migration from Nigeria is mainly directed towards Europe through North Africa, with Nigerians almost exclusively using the Central Mediterranean route.

An estimated 84 per cent of migration within West Africa is towards another country in the region, which is seven times greater than migration flows from West Africa to other parts of the world. On regional migration, the report revealed that an estimated 7.5 million migrants move around West Africa.

This, according to the report, is the largest number of migrants in Africa, and they move internally, intra-regionally, continentally and internationally.

With the rising trend in illegal migration worldwide, especially from poorer to richer countries, WAKA Well by IOM X said it has continued to educate Nigerians with innovative campaigns in West Africa that seeks to prevent exploitation by empowering young people to make informed decisions about their future, both at home and abroad, with more information on its website

Reports have shown that Africa is one of the continents with the highest number of migrants, legal and illegal. It explained that young Nigerians make up the largest population of the growing flow of migrants from Africa to developed countries, whereby, in 2016, over 20,000 involved in the Mediterranean Sea crossing were reported to be from Nigeria.

The report noted that the high number of West Africans on the move is linked to several factors, including visa-free movement among the 15 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) members.

According to a recent survey conducted with residents of Oredo and Ikpoba Okha in Edo State recently, respondents said that the top three opportunities to make money in these communities are farming, self-employment and manual labour including construction and mechanics among others.

More than 58 per cent of survey respondents revealed that they get their migration information primarily through friends and family.The report noted that migration is often associated with poverty, but other factors also drive the phenomenon, including youth unemployment, climate change and urbanization.

Employment-seeking migration accounts for the biggest share of intra-regional mobility as youth migrate from one country to another looking for better job opportunities.

Source: Guardian

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