The Ghanaian-German Centre (GGC) for jobs, migration and reintegration has cautioned Ghanaian youth to avoid travelling through dangerous routes of the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara desert in an attempt to pursue greener pastures in Europe.
Many young people, in search of a better future, risk their lives on the route through the Sahara to Libya and cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, where they live precarious lives while scores are killed.
The Centre has, therefore, urged young people desirous of seeking adventures abroad or Europe to pass through regular processes of travelling in order to avoid the perils of roving along the sea or desert.
“If you want to travel, travel safe, if you want to travel, travel the right way,” Senior National Coordinator for Employment and Reintegration at GGC, Mr David Yawo Tette-Mensah, said. “The pastures we have in Ghana are greener.”
He was speaking to participants who gathered at the Environmental Protection Agency hall at Amasaman, the Ga West Municipal capital, to celebrate the 2019 International Migrants Day which falls on 18th December every year.
More than 300 young persons, returning migrants, state officials and security agents took part in the United Nations day celebration on the theme: “Be safe: choose regular migration.”
“Today is quite critical for us because we have decided to bring the conversation on irregular migration to the streets and to the doorsteps of the people who are pivotal in this phenomenon, and then guide them to take ownership of the narrative around migration,” Mr Tette-Mensah said.
He noted that poorly regulated irregular migration could trigger significant challenges such as exerting undue pressure on social infrastructure owing to unexpected arrival of large numbers of people, besides deaths of migrants undertaking dangerous journeys.
He urged Ghanaians with ambitions to leave the country to choose regular migration as the safe option to guarantee maximum protection of their fundamental human rights.
Since GGC’s inception in December 2017, he said the Centre has counselled more than 9000 individuals, offered over 8000 trainings to clients and facilitated in excess of 450 persons, either, into employment or supported them to set up business.
Also addressing the gathering, Mr Clement Wilkinson, the Ga West Municipal Chief Executive, called for review of issuance of visa to Ghanaians wanting to travel abroad and said it was partly the reason why people travel using dangerous and illegal routes.
“When people get easy access to Europe no one will be interested in staying there for more than one year, I don’t think it is our interest to do that,” he added. “I am telling you the fact, when you are in your country or home you are happier.”
He expressed worry Ghana losses many young vibrant labour force to host countries (in Europe and Americas) and blamed the situation on “mind-set” formed from childhood about the existence of better opportunities in Europe.
While also attributing irregular migration to misinformation, he urged the youth to pass through regular processes of traveling for better experience and peace.
The 2019 day focused on social cohesion as an estimated 272 million migrants, 51 million more than 2010, are living new lives and building new communities in very corner of the globe.
Currently, some 800,000 Ghanaians live and work outside their home country, according to international migration experts, with many others using illegal routes and tumbling in the hands of smugglers and traffickers.
Participants were taken through topics such as irregular migration, dangers and its impact on migrants and their families and national economies.
They also listened to horrible experiences from returning immigrants.
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