By: Kebba AF Touray

The Migrant Project (TMP), has conducted training for Journalists, to enhance their reporting skills on migration issues, as well give migrants visibility to irregular migration as one of today’s burning issues.

Speaking at the training, Alieu Bangura, Local Migration Expert, said the Migrant Project is composed of various units such as the Local Migration Expert, remote migration officers, media liaison officers, amongst others; that the migrants face smuggling, human trafficking, slavery among other inhuman treatments along the route and clarified, that their role is not to discourage people from travelling, but to discourage their illegal means of migrating, the incidents of which is influenced by lack of information and the cost involved.

Mba Dibba Jammeh Cham, a Remote Migration Expert, explained that research has shown that the category, such as forced returnees, asylum seekers, voluntary returnees, refugees, economic migrants and potential migrants, are not understood by migrants; thus the role of the media is to make sure that these terms are filtered down for better understanding; that from their findings, it was detected that the amount of money spent on the journey, is US$2,000 amidst exploitation, torture, and murder, amongst others.

“26 percent have been forced to work against their will, detention, discrimination, and racism in Libya and Europe as well. Gender based violence, prostitution and rape, are all cases of vulnerability that have been recorded,” she said.

“Germany is the preferred destination for 24 percent of migrants and upon arrival, the irregular migrants are not allowed to work, because they are not documented. Thus making them vulnerable to labor exploitation and informal markets,” she further disclosed; that in 2006, 63 percent of asylum applicants were rejected and only 32 percent of Gambians asylum applications worldwide, were recognized, coupled with the long waiting period, despite the hope of the potential migrants in securing asylum.

“64 percent of potential migrants from the Gambia, felt they have sufficient knowledge to plan the journey. But in reality, they do not live in transit countries, and have low knowledge on migration and asylum policies in the destination countries. 73 percent of Gambians admitted that they would likely stay at home, if they have learnt that this is what they will face in their destination campus, while 74 percent of Gambian respondent in Libya, said if they or their families have more money, they would have stayed at home,” she said.

Etheine Sylva, Media Liaison Officer, explained that two factors compel people to embark on the irregular migration: the Pull Factors, such as unemployment, lack of opportunities, family pressure, greed, peer and social pressure and religious influence, and: Push factors including economic opportunities, and social structures amongst others.

The training was held at a local hotel in Senegambia, on Friday September 14th, 2018.

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