Executive Director of Patriotic Citizen Initiatives(PCI), Osita Osemene, has appealed to the society to reintegrate migrants in all aspects of life so that they can overcome setback.
He made the appeal while speaking on the role of the community in ensuring sustainable reintegration of migrants in the community at a Strategic Town Hall meeting held in Benin City to mark the 2020 International Migrants Day.
According to him, “the situation in communities of return greatly influences the reintegration process. Communities with strong social networks and access to resources can provide support and protection to returnees and themselves benefit from the reintegration process.
“But when communities are unable to provide these networks and resources, the experience of return can constitute a risk factor for the community and the returnees.
“Furthermore, returnees may not always be readily accepted into a community, even if it was their community of origin. Perceived or actual economic competition for jobs, strain on services and infrastructure in high return areas, and stigmatisation of returnees are all potential barriers to successful reintegration.”
He charged “the traditional leaders, government and CSOs should target their assistance to communities with a high risk concentration of returnees and where specific problems have been identified that could be addressed by the programme.”
Talking about ECOWAS free movement protocols as it relates to migration, Dr. Daniel Olise Iweze of the University of Benin, said the challenges facing the free movement protocols include among others “lack of awareness on travel requirements and work permits.
“Most travellers are unaware of the rights and responsibilities spelt out in the protocol and therefore, unable to challenge possible infringement by security agents and government officials.”
He said that “border cooperation and deployment of technology used at the airports and other advanced borders would reduce restrictions of movement.”
Mr. Lawal Abdul-Sabur of the Salvation Army described regular migration as “the movement of people or individuals from one place either internally within a community, a state or a country or to another country through international borders as it is international migration following the rules and the legislations of the recipient country,” adding “irregular migrants are victims of a whole lot of violations both human rights and their persons as well.”