The Director of Ghana Immigration Service,(GIS) COP (Dr.) Peter A. Wiredu, has cut the sword for the construction of a Migration Consultation Centre [MCC] at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The MCC which is aimed at empowering prospective migrants to travel in a legal, voluntary, orderly and protected wayis part of a larger information campaign to promote safe and legal migration under the European Union funded Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) Project being implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and GIS
The Centre will offer a neutral space for potential and actual migrants to obtain accurate and reliable information on legal migration procedures and required documentation, the risks of irregular migration, and the rights and responsibilities of migrants throughout the migration process.
Furthermore the MCC will also look at the worrying trend of irregular migration and provide information and counseling services to protect vulnerable migrants from fraudulent jobs offered by human smugglers and traffickers.
The Centre is currently located at GIS Brong Ahafo Regional Command, to provide information for visitors.
WHY the MCC in Brong Ahafo
The Director of GIS, COP (Dr). Peter A. Wiredu, said alarge number of people from the Brong Ahafo Region who risk their lives in dangerous and exploitative journeys on the Sahara desert and on the Mediterranean sea, and the concomitant effects on their families in particular and society in general, served as a catalyst that accelerated the construction of the MCC to tackle this canker,raise awareness of the public on the risks and dangers involved in irregular migration, and address the core causes of irregular migration.
Statistic On Migration
Statistics available at GIS indicate that over 2,000 Ghanaian female migrants departed to the Middle East between September 2014 and January 2015, and about 350 of them have been returned to Ghana. These youngsters have made severalcomplaints about how they were forced to work, physically and sexually abused, and subjected to inhumane treatment.
A research conducted by IOM in 2014 also depicts that at least 5,017 migrants lost their lives while attempting to cross borders around the world and over 65 per cent of them originated from Sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 5,017, over 3,270 are believed to have died trying to cross the Mediterranean. Between January and May 2015, at least 2,369 migrants died, including 1,829 in the Mediterranean.
Between January and April 2015, some 471 Ghanaians, including 32 unaccompanied minors, arrived in Italy by boat, according to the Italian Ministry of Interior.
In 2011, over 19,000 Ghanaian migrants in Libya, most of them irregular were assisted to return to Ghana during the Libyan crisis by the government of Ghana in partnership with IOM.
IOM Chief’s Statement
Statement issued by the IOM Chief of Mission in Ghana Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, revealed that the Initiativeisaimed at improving economic opportunities, social services and community infrastructures needed in areas prone to economically induced migration, so that migration becomes a choice, not an escape from a harsh reality. Members of such communities she said, especially the youth, need to be able to picture a future at home, because migration out of despair is rarely conducive to positive outcomes.
Dignitaries @ The Ceremony
Deputy Brong AhafoRegional Minister, Justice Samuel Adjei, Brong Ahafo Regional Commanderfor Brong Ahafo,Deputy Director (Operations) of GIS, ADI Felix Yaw Sarpong,, DCOP Robert Ayalingo, the Krontihene of Sunyani Traditional Area, Nana Bofotia Boa AmponsemII, GIMMA Project Manager,Ms Kazumi Nakamura, the Acting Regional Commander for GIS , COI Fasial Disu and some officials of IOM and the GIS witnessed the sword cutting ceremony.