By Jacinta Nwachukwu
An NGO, Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF), has advised the youth against irregular migration to avoid falling victims to human traffickers and organ harvesters.
The Executive Director, AYGF, Dr Arome Salifu, gave the advice during a road walk of its Migration Information Communication Campaign (MICC), project – part two, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Salifu noted that Migration Information Communication Campaign project was aimed at reducing incidences of irregular migration, human trafficking through awareness creation and mass mobilisation among others.
“And also to see that Nigerians are not victims of irregular migration and human trafficking considering the risk of the menace.
According to him, the dangers of irregular migration include organ harvesting, sex slavery labour exploitation, risk of death in the Mediterranean Sea, Sahara desert and also the challenge of tarnishing the image of the country.
“We also know the reason why these are happening; there are a lot of push factors such as huge level of youth’s unemployment, high level of poverty, as well as insecurity above others.
“So we are calling on the government to address these push factors to reduce the cases and the temptation to leave the country at all cost.
“We are not saying that people should not travel; but that if you must travel, you must use the regular pathway; through credited and officially permitted route for your own safety.”
He said that the purpose of the campaign was to create more awareness on why people should use regular pathways if they must travel outside the country.
Salifu explained that the foundation was partnering with some relevant organisations in creating more awareness on irregular migration and ways of curbing the menace nationwide.
“As an organisation, we believe that every young person has the right to migrate, live where you want to live, right to aspire and meet up with those aspirations within the confines of the law.
“To this extent, we introduced the MICC Nigerian campaign to enlighten critical minds of young Nigerians and adults to appreciate the regular pathways.
“And also appreciate the dangers inherent in embarking on irregular pathways, leading to their vulnerability to being trafficked,’’ he added.
Also speaking, Ms Jennifer Aga, the Assistant Director, Legal, Vulnerable Group Department, National Human Right Commission (NHRC) said that the agency was not against anyone migrating but it should be done the right way.
“In as much as we are trying to protect the right of the migrants.
“We also let people know that yes you have the right to migrate but you should also do it in the right way,’’ she said.
Aga, therefore, warned Nigerians not to fall prey to fraudsters and organ harvesters.
She said that there was need for collaboration among stakeholders to combat human trafficking and irregular migration.
Aga noted that these ills could only be combated if the whole society and government were involved.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the foundation, which was founded in 2003, is deeply rooted in communities, youth, social, economic and political development within the country and around the sub-region.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)