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Journey Unto Death: Group tackles irregular migration through advocacy

Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea have become cemeteries for Nigerian immigrants who are risking their lives in the deadliest voyage to cross into Europe in search of greener pastures.

Many Nigerians are helplessly trapped in the desert where they could neither continue with the journey nor return back to the country. Many equally die in the desert as a result of exhaustion due to harsh weather or as a result of the activities of armed bandits along the desert routes. Also, thousands of Nigerians have perished in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to cross over to Europe.

Worried by this ugly trend, The Migrant Project, an advocacy group, has taken it upon itself to stem the tide and save Nigeria from the catastrophic consequences of irregular migration.

Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos, the Project Coordinator, The Migrant Project, Ms Clare Henshaw said the organization was a behavioral change campaign to educate Nigerians about the realities and many risks of traveling to Europe irregularly.

According to her, research conducted by The Migrant Project showed that a large number of potential Nigerian migrants lacked knowledge on destination country policies and hold unrealistic expectations about support upon arrival.

“So The Migrant Project is a behavioral change campaign, which aims to fill existing information gaps and enable Nigerians make informed decisions knowing that irregular migration is never a good option.

“The project is essentially to enlighten, educate and equip Nigerians with the right information about migration issues. The essence is to ensure that nobody embarks on this kind of journey out of ignorance. It is to open the eyes of those who think that it is greener out there, to be able to see ahead what awaits them.

“It is our belief that when they know what is involved right from the beginning of the journey, all through the transit up to what awaits them in their destination countries; majority will not want to embark on such a deadly journey”, Henshaw explained.

She however, called for support from relevant government agencies, the media, and other well meaning individuals to solve the problem. “Nigeria is a great country and it is our belief that when we join hands to fight this evil, Nigeria will even be greater.”


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