ABUJA, Nigeria, October 15, 2021 / APO Group / –
The free movement of people and goods and the fight against trafficking in human beings should be major political priorities, agreed the members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) during talks organized with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Migration Network and the African Union.
Three days of consultations in Abuja this week offered ECOWAS members the first chance to collectively assess progress made in implementing the goals of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and decide on key recommendations to be submitted to the Next year’s International Migration Review Forum.
Integrated governance of migration should be a key objective and Ambrose Dery, Ghana’s Home Secretary, Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, said it was essential that African nations tackle human trafficking and its devastating consequences for migrants.
“The vile stories disseminated in the international media concerning the slavery of migrants, as well as the mistreatment of young African domestic workers in some Gulf States, call for reflection on the appropriate actions to be taken in order to find a lasting solution to this persistent problem which leads to the loss of young Africans, without whom the continent cannot build a prosperous and peaceful future, ”said Dery. “In Ghana, the contribution of migrants has played a big role in shaping our national development.
Governments must address the root causes of trafficking and ensure the free movement of people in a safe, orderly and dignified manner. ECOWAS representatives stressed the need to join forces and align approaches to prevent and combat smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons in order to promote rights-based migration management.
The meeting, which ended Thursday, also heard that policies must be effectively enforced by border officials to facilitate free movement while combating human trafficking.
Aissata Kane, IOM’s senior regional adviser for sub-Saharan Africa, said the Global Compact for Migration is a historic multilateral document. “It aims to catalyze and strengthen the combined support and assistance to address the legal and humanitarian challenges of migration and foster its positive social, cultural and economic dividends inside and outside the ECOWAS region. .
IOM has worked with all stakeholders at the intergovernmental and national levels, as well as within the United Nations Migration Network, to promote the safe, orderly and dignified free movement of people and economic exchange between Member States of ECOWAS.
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