The nationwide campaign which is dubbed ‘No Place Like Home’ was launched on Friday (July 17, 2020), to promote safe migration among the Ghanaian youth amid COVID-19.
The campaign is supported by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration and funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
The campaign gives all the information on the dangers of migration and encourages the youth to exhaust all opportunities in Ghana before embarking on a perilous journey.
IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra said “The outbreak of Covid-19 is having an unprecedented impact on human mobility and the livelihoods of millions of people across West Africa, including here in Ghana. We expect that the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 will put pressure on many communities which may lead to increased migration.”
“We need to be proactive, and safe migration campaigns such as ‘No Place Like Home’ are crucial in preventing unnecessary sufferings and loss of lives,” she added.
On her part, the Co-chair of the Project Steering Committee, Rose Tsorhey said the government must prioritise issues of migration for the public to be aware of the effects.
“Today, we are witnessing an important step in helping drum home the need for safer migration options and for the youth to take advantage of the opportunities the country offers. We should all own this campaign, as whole of government effort, through the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) but most importantly as a whole of society initiative.”
The campaign uses various means to educate the public including telling the stories of returning migrants and what they faced.
One of such persons is Ebenezer Bae who returned to Ghana in 2017.
Ebenezer said: “After risking my life in the desert and experiencing exploitation and abuse in Libya, I felt the youth must know, so they do not put themselves in similar difficulties. I am fortunate to be alive because many did not survive.”
“More importantly, what I was looking for in Libya, is in abundance in Ghana. I want the youth to understand that it is possible to make it here. I tell them: If you want to migrate, use the right channel. This is our campaign message,” he added.
Ebenezer currently leads a youth group in the Brong Ahafo region – a migration-prone area heavily affected by a high unemployment rate – advocating for safe migration.
The campaign will also use activities such as street art painting or sports to bring communities together for education. At such gatherings, there will be conversations on migration and stigmatization against migrants upon their return.
The campaign will run for three months in migration-prone areas, including the Western, Western North, Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Ashanti, and Greater Accra regions.