No Easy Passage to Europe through Irregular Migration, Group Warns

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Nigerians considering irregular migration to Europe have been advised to quash such ideas because of the dangers involved.
A group, Nigerian Diaspora in Europe said in a statement that “Many of the migrants left Nigeria lured by the false promise of people-smugglers who deceive their victims into paying, sometimes, thousands of dollars for a passage to Europe. The fact is there is no easy passage to Europe through irregular migration. The illegal route to Europe is littered with hardship and death.
“In Libya, for example, there are up to 1 million migrants trapped in transit where they are exposed to hash living conditions and widespread human rights abuses. Some are traded as slaves for ransom, labour or sex by gangs of people-smugglers and many die in the appalling conditions of detention facilities run by both the Libyan authorities and militia forces.
“A substantial number of these irregular migrants are Nigerians. In fact, Nigerians constitute the single largest group of sub-Saharans in Libya.
“The Nigerian Diaspora in Europe is deeply disturbed by this situation hence its decision to do something about it. This is why The African-German Information Center (AGIC), and The African Courier Verlag – both owned by Nigerians living in Germany – in collaboration with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is launching the information campaign ‘Migration Enlightenment Project in Nigeria’, supported by Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria MEPN ‘Look before you leave.”
The objective of their “Know the Facts” campaign, they said, was to raise public awareness about the dangers and risks of irregular migration to Europe and to explain the legal requirements for regular migration with the overall objective of promoting safe migration.
They said the project would highlight the opportunities for legal migration to Europe and give a realistic picture of the situation of irregular migrants in the transit countries and Europe. “The campaign entitled “Look before you leave” is to make young Nigerians aware of the consequences of illegal migration and its hardships while also encouraging youths to look at positive alternatives to emigration available in Nigeria.”
Focus groups are the Nigerian youths, journalists, youth empowerment organisations and related government agencies at all levels, said the statement signed by Hon. Kenneth Gbandi, Chairman, Central Executive Council/Board of Trustees, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe and African – German Information Center (AGIC) g.UG
Hamburg, Germany.
“We receive daily news of the suffering of young African migrants seeking better opportunities in Europe through illegal routes. The ordeal that many go through either in the transit countries such as Niger and Libya or during the perilous journeys on rickety boats across the Mediterranean is heart wrenching.
“This year alone, more than 1,500 migrants have perished in the Mediterranean, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Many more are believed to have died travelling across the Sahara Desert or in the transit countries,” said the statement, which was also signed by Mr. Femi Awoniyi of The African Courier Verlag Berlin, Germany.