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Migrants entitled to fundamental human rights—Buhari

Buhari expressed this view while declaring open the 2018 National Migration Dialogue at the State House Banquet Hall, on Monday in Abuja.

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Migrants entitled to fundamental human rights—Buhari
Migrants
By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Abuja, Dec.17, 2018(NNN) President Muhammadu Buhari says migrants as human beings are entitled to their fundamental human rights.

Buhari expressed this view while declaring open the 2018 National Migration Dialogue at the State House Banquet Hall, on Monday in Abuja.

The dialogue was orgainsed by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) in collaboration with relevant government agencies and departments, local agencies, academia and international agencies.

The theme of the dialogue is `Realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for All including Migrants, Refugees and IDPs.’

Buhari thanked the partners-especially, Switzerland, through Swiss Development Cooperation, the European Union Delegation and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for their support.

He said that Dec. 18 had been set aside by the UN for celebration of international migrants whose number today had risen to a staggering number of 258 million.

“Migration governance in Nigeria has seen continuous improvement as NCFRMI improve the coordination of all migration related matters in the country as well as the resettlement of IDPs in the nation.

“It is evident that various programmes and interventions aim to at provide IDPs, refugees and migrants with best tools to become self-reliant.

“Concrete examples of our efforts include the evacuation of hundreds of Nigerian migrants from Libya which was overseen by a delegation of top government officials.

“The protection based services being offered to asylum seekers and refugees in Nigeria as well safe and voluntary return of thousands of Nigerians currently living as asylum seekers in Cameroon through a tripartite agreement between Nigeria, Cameroon and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

“Migration does not matter just because migrants add to development; migration also matters because migrants are first and foremost, human beings and are therefore entitled to their fundamental human rights,’’ he said.

The president said that Nigeria would continue to remain a migrant-friendly nation.

Buhari said he was encouraged to know that Nigeria had made efforts in the fight against irregular migration.

He said that apart from approving a national migration policy which was an overall framework for the governance of migration in the country, the Federal Government had fared well in the implementation of poverty alleviation programmes.

The president listed some of the empowerment programmes as Npower, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme(GEEP) such as TraderMoni and MarketMoni scheme.

On her part, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI, said that the 2018 dialogue was timely.

Farouq said that the dialogue was holding at a time the world was grappling with migration challenges and countries were exploring measures for enhancing the positive impact of migration on the UN 2030 Agenda for SDGs.

She said that Nigerian delegation recently returned from the migration week held in Marrakesh, Morocco where the world gathered to celebrate the 11th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

“Today’s event is an indication of the strong commitment of the Nigerian government to the promotion of the plight of Nigerians on the move of those forcibly displaced within and outside the country.

“Migration has been at the centre of national and human development from time immemorial.

“Dividends of migration are seminal in the various global actions to eradicate poverty and ensure the integral development of the entire world citizens such as the current 2030 Agenda for sustainable development,’’ she said.

Farouq said that the commission aspired to be world-class humanitarian agency with effective durable solutions provided for Persons-of-Concern (POCs); hence the adoption of six components.

The components are-Organisational Development Framework, Social Support Systems for POPs, ICT and Date Management, Internal and External Communications, Strategic Partnership and Donors and Legal Frameworks.

In a goodwill message, Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Mr George Steiner, said that Switzerland was proud to be identified with the event.

He said the conference bore witness to the close partnership Switzerland had with NCFRMI and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“I wish to reiterate Switzerland’s commitment to continue to partner with Nigeria in developing a comprehensive approach to migration issues and to ensure the wellbeing of migrants and their contributions to SDGs are recognized and duly taken into account for the benefit of all us,’’ he said.

In his message, IOM’s Chief-of-Mission, Mr Frantz Celestine, said organisation was grateful for the partnership it had cemented with the Nigerian Immigration Service, NCFRMI and others.

He said that over the past 18 years, IOM had used the celebration to acknowledge the positive contributions of migrants to SDGs.

All the speakers took turns to wish Buhari a happy 76th birthday.(NNN)
CJ/EAL
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Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi

Foreign

Migrants demand “freedom” at Malta’s Marsa detention center

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Police were called in on Tuesday to help quell a protest at one of Malta’s detention centers where hundreds of migrants were demanding “freedom.”

The protest, which lasted from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., was kept under control. No major incidents were reported.

The migrants held at a detention center in the harbor village of Marsa waved towels, banged on windows and chanted “We want freedom.”

One migrant climbed the fence and jumped into a nearby canal. He was immediately captured by the police and taken to hospital. The situation seemed to escalate during the rescue because he resisted and the migrants inside the center began insulting the police and tried to force open the main gate.

However, the situation was soon brought under control. A police spokesman told Xinhua that only the person who tried to flee was arrested and that the intervention of the riot police squad was not required.

In April, a similar protest took place at the Marsa detention center.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

EU condemns killing of migrants in Libya

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The European Union (EU) Delegation and EU Member State Heads of Mission to Libya on Saturday condemned the killing of dozens of migrants in western Libya.

The European Union Delegation and EU Member State Heads of Mission condemn the murder of 30 trafficked migrants, mostly Bangladeshi nationals, on May 27 in Mezda which also resulted in others wounded,” a joint statement said.

The attack, which occurred at the town of Mezda, some 180 km southwest of the capital Tripoli, was reportedly a revenge by the family of a Libyan smuggler who has been murdered by migrants.

“We remain committed to continuing our support to the authorities in strengthening their rule of law capacities so to allow them to counter criminal networks such as the one responsible for this crime and to maximize our assistance to Libyan communities impacted by the trafficking and smuggling of migrants,” the statement said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

UN calls for investigation into killing of 30 migrants in Libya

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UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Yacoub El-Hillo, on Friday called for an investigation into the killing of 30 migrants in western Libya.

“I am shocked by the horrific reports about Wednesday’s shooting at a smuggling warehouse in Mezda, killing 30 migrants and injuring 11 others,’’ El- Hillo said in a statement.

The attack, which occurred at the town of Mezda, some 180 kilometres southwest of the capital Tripoli, was reportedly a revenge by the family of a Libyan smuggler, who has been murdered by migrants.

“Authorities, with influence on the ground in the area where this incident took place, have the responsibility to ensure that human smugglers and traffickers are not allowed to continue with their inhuman and degrading acts,’’ the UN official said.

The official added that “such a heinous and merciless crime against helpless individuals should be investigated immediately and those responsible must be brought to justice’’.

“Those responsible for the attack must be held accountable.

“The impunity, with which smugglers and traffickers operate in Libya, must be brought to an immediate stop,’’ he urged.

On Thursday, the UN-backed government confirmed that its Interior Ministry had issued an instruction for Mezda’s security directorate to arrest those responsible for the incident.

The UN estimated that more than 654,000 migrants and refugees are living in Libya and many of them face arbitrary detention, gender-based violence, forced labour, extortion and exploitation.

Smugglers exploited chaos and insecurity in the country to send thousands of migrants through the Mediterranean Sea towards European shores.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

UN calls for investigation into killing of 30 migrants in Libya

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UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya Yacoub El Hillo on Friday called for an investigation into the killing of 30 migrants in western Libya.

“I am shocked by the horrific reports about Wednesday’s shooting at a smuggling warehouse in Mezda killing 30 migrants and injuring 11 others,” El Hillo said in a statement.

The attack, which occured at the town of Mezda, some 180 km southwest of the capital Tripoli, was reportedly a revenge by the family of a Libyan smuggler who has been murdered by migrants.

“Authorities with influence on the ground in the area where this incident took place have the responsibility to ensure that human smugglers and traffickers are not allowed to continue with their inhuman and degrading acts,” the UN official said, adding “such a heinous and merciless crime against helpless individuals should be investigated immediately and those responsible must be brought to justice.”

“Those responsible for the attack must be held accountable. The impunity with which smugglers and traffickers operate in Libya must be brought to an immediate stop,” he urged.

On Thursday, the UN-backed government confirmed that its interior ministry had issued an instruction for Mezda’s security directorate to arrest those responsible for the incident.

The UN estimated that more than 654,000 migrants and refugees are living in Libya, and many of them face arbitrary detention, gender-based violence, forced labor, extortion and exploitation.

Smugglers exploited chaos and insecurity in the country to send thousands of migrants through the Mediterranean Sea towards European shores.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

IOM deplores killing of 30 trafficked migrants in Libya

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The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), on Thursday, deplored killing of 30 trafficked migrants in western Libya.

“The tragedy that occurred is a smuggling warehouse in Mezda, near the city of Gharyan, southwest of Tripoli where a group of migrants were being held.

“Eleven migrants who sustained severe injuries have been rushed to the hospital,’’ the IOM said in a statement.

IOM called on Libyan authorities to immediately launch an investigation to bring those responsible to justice.

The agency also called for urgent establishment of an alternative safe disembarkation scheme for migrants rescued at sea and returned to Libya, providing them with a port of safety and guaranteeing their needs and protection.

“This senseless crime is a bleak reminder of the horrors migrants have to endure at the hands of smugglers and traffickers in Libya.

“These criminal groups are taking advantage of the instability and security situation to prey on desperate people and exploit their vulnerabilities,’’ said IOM Libya Chief of Mission, Federico Soda.

After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in 2011, Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants, hoping to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

IOM deplores killing of 30 trafficked migrants in Libya

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday deplored killing of 30 trafficked migrants in western Libya.

“The tragedy that occurred is a smuggling warehouse in Mezda, near the city of Gharyan, southwest of Tripoli where a group of migrants were being held. Eleven migrants who sustained severe injuries have been rushed to the hospital,” the IOM said in a statement.

The IOM called on Libyan authorities to immediately launch an investigation to bring those responsible to justice.

The agency also called for urgent establishment of an alternative safe disembarkation scheme for migrants rescued at sea and returned to Libya, providing them with a port of safety, and guaranteeing their needs and protection.

“This senseless crime is a bleak reminder of the horrors migrants have to endure at the hands of smugglers and traffickers in Libya. These criminal groups are taking advantage of the instability and security situation to prey on desperate people and exploit their vulnerabilities,” said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Federico Soda.

After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi‘s government in 2011, Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

India’s top court says no train, bus fare for stranded migrants

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India’s top court Thursday ordered the federal government to ensure free travel to stranded migrants to their home states by trains and buses.

The court also directed railways to arrange food and water for the migrants as long as they were on the trains.

Thursday’s order from a three-judge bench of Supreme Court was aimed at helping the stranded migrant labourers, whose plight has become a stark image during the ongoing nationwide lockdown to control COVID-19.

The court said migrant workers found walking home should immediately be taken to shelters and provided food and all facilities.

The government told the top court that it has sent 9.7 million migrant workers – 5 million by special trains and 4.7 million through road – home between May 1 and May 27.

The past several weeks witnessed a series of instances wherein hungry and desperate migrants looted food carts at various railway stations across the country. Several migrants have died after being on the trains without food and water in the sizzling heat.

On Wednesday, a heartbreaking video of a child trying to wake his dead mother had gone viral.

A nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25 is underway in India to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move left a large number of migrant labourers stranded at their place of work. Lockdown has badly hit the Indian economy and resulted in the loss of jobs.

Thousands of people following the non-availability of work began walking to their homes from big cities in the absence of public transport.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

75 migrants rescued as Malta rents fourth tourist boat

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The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) has rescued another group of 75 migrants on Wednesday night, and a fourth tourist vessel was rented to keep them outside Maltese territorial waters until an agreement with other European states is reached, a spokesman for the Maltese government confirmed on Thursday.

All the 75 migrants were male. The fourth tourist vessel will be leaving Malta later on Thursday after loading provisions.

It will drop anchor 13 nautical miles east of Valletta, where it will join another three tourist vessels commissioned by the Maltese government to house just over 350 migrants rescued since the end of April.

Wednesday’s rescue came two days after the AFM rescued 90 migrants, with 27 of them — consisting of minors and women — being allowed to disembark in Malta despite the closure of its ports for asylum seekers.

The minors and women were allowed to disembark in Malta “for humanitarian reasons,” the AFM said then.

Malta has closed off its ports to asylum seekers, citing health concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Metro

COVID-19: Irregular migrants face greater risks – Group

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Thousands of irregular migrants are facing severe humanitarian conditions, due to the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, said the Migrant Project.

Over 300 migrants are stranded on the Mediterranean sea, after several European countries shut their ports against migrants in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus, said the group in a statement issued on Wednesday.

According to the group, thousands of Europe-bound irregular migrants from Africa are stranded in transit countries like Niger, Algeria and Libya living in unhealthy and overcrowded spaces without food, water and basic hygiene.

“The reality of the global pandemic leaves both regular and irregular migrants stranded, however, the burden is heavier on irregular migrants, especially those en route,” said Tayo Elegbede, Media Lead, The Migrant Project.

He noted that migrants who had embarked on irregular journeys before the COVID-19 era are trapped in appalling conditions in unpleasant locations with no hope in sight given the limited humanitarian interventions for irregular migrants.

Elegbede expressed concern that the pandemic will lead to gross desperation to migrate irregularly due to the economic and social impact of the virus. The desperation, according to him, will lead to a rise in criminal acts, human smuggling, trafficking of persons and exploitation.

COVID-19 has changed everything, migration inclusive. Countries have and will continue to redefine migration policies and pacts. Online and offline, criminal networks will devise and present new statics to swindle, smuggle and traffick unsuspecting potential migrants, particularly, the desperate ones. Hence, we urge Nigerians to be cautious of their migration decisions at the moment and post COVID-19,” Elegbede said.

The Migrant Project (TMP) is an awareness-raising campaign focusing on irregular migration in Nigeria. Launched in March 2018, the aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and fill information gaps among the Nigerian population in order to enable Nigerians to make informed decisions about the risks and realities of irregular migration.

 

 Signed

Tayo Elegbede
Media Lead, TMP Nigeria
+234 814 874 2597
omotayo@themigrantproject.org

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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