The National Migration Policy (NMP) has been launched here in Accra to address the existing gaps in the management of migration and the protection of the rights of all migrants in the country.
The Policy is to provide a broad range of strategies on various migration related issues to guide policy makers and all other stakeholders.
Its objective is to promote and protect the interests, rights, security and welfare of citizens and migrants within and outside Ghana,
provide an enabling environment for national and global migration dialogue and promote a comprehensive and sustainable approach to migration management.
In a speech read on behalf of the President by the Minister for the Interior, Hon Prosper D. K. Bani, he stated that Irregular migration poses multiple challenges to countries of origin, transit, and destination as well as, to the migrants themselves.
The government of Ghana has therefore shown keen interest in the area of migration management and holds the view that mainstreaming migration into development would be adequately achieved if there is a policy framework underpinning the processes, hence the development of the National Migration Policy.
According to the Minister, reports from the Italian Ministry of Interior indicates that about Six thousand Seven hundred and thirty Six (6,736) people have arrived in Italy since the beginning of this year. In February, 2016, the Italian navy and coast guards rescued more than Seven Hundred (700) migrants from six boats off the coast of Libya and found four dead bodies.
He further stated that various reports indicate that every year, a number of Ghanaian youth trek through the Sahara Desert to other countries like Libya, Morocco, Senegal and the Gambia as transit countries and later cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe and America without any travelling documents. A situation he stressed is considered dangerous and most times results in death and incarceration.
Honourable Bani, added that the implementation of the NMP is key to the development of the nation and a lot of strategies have been put in place to address the myriad of issues associated with migration such as reintegration of migrants, student mobility, border management, environment and climate change, health among others.
He also mentioned the establishment of the Ghana National Commission on Migration (GNCM), a body specifically mandated to manage migration and its related issues as well as provide interventions in line with the National Migration Policy.
Present at the launch were the Chief of IOM, the Italian Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union, Country Director of German International Cooperation (GTZ), and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior. Security Agencies, School Children, Ministers of State, members of the Diplomatic Corps a cross- section of the public were also in attendance.
A presentation on the overview of the National Migration Policy was made by the Head for Centre for Migration Studies, Legon, and Professor Mariama Awumbila.