In News by Naijatweet Staff on the 30th, November, 2018

Nigeria, IOM to use films to tackle irregular migration

Nigeria, IOM to use films to tackle irregular migration


The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the federal government on Friday intensified their campaign against irregular migration at the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the festival featured films and documentaries that captured the challenges of migration and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities.

The GMFF which held at the Goethe Institute, Lagos, witnessed the screening of a short film ”Granma” by Nigerian filmmaker, Alfie Nze.

It also displayed another documentary ‘‘Bush fallers – A Journey of Chasing Dreams’’ which was directed by Nils Keding.

IOM Nigeria Programme Support Officer, Alex Cole, said the GMFF used films as educational tools to change perceptions and attitudes toward migrants.

She explained that it is also a way of bringing attention to social issues and creating safe spaces for respectful debate and interaction.

Ms Cole said: “The goal of the festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomenon of our time.

“Films have the power to show different facets of life, which can in turn help viewers to cultivate deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives and capacities.

“Furthermore, the festival is an innovative creative avenue for normalising discussions of migration through storytelling.

“It is an advocacy tool that can also draw attention to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus helping all nations as they work to meet them,” she said.

According to her, IOM Nigeria is aware of the benefits of enabling an open dialogue between migrants and communities of origin and destination.

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“We have initiatives in Nigeria to that effect including the Migrants as Messengers project, the Abroad Mata radio series and the Aware Migrants campaign.

“With this first edition of the festival in Nigeria we hope to encourage candid discussions around this very relevant topic today,” she added.

Ms Cole said the IOM would continue to sensitise Nigerians on the dangers of irregular migration and create awareness centres to provide adequate information on the prospect and opportunities available in their destination countries.

Also speaking, Sadiya Farouq, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), commended IOM for facilitating the voluntary return of over 10,000 Nigerians from Libya since 2017.

Ms Farouq, represented by Margaret Ukaegbu, Zonal Coordinator, South West, NCFRMI, said the IOM in collaboration with the commission and other stakeholders had been in the forefront of migrant issues in Nigeria.

“We are delighted that this year’s edition is holding in Nigeria and the fact that Nigeria is the first country in West and Central Africa to host the festival.

“It is hoped that the various lessons to be learned today will be passed across to the various departments of our organisations and the public.

‘’We hope it will also provide durable and efficient solutions to the imminent problems and challenges of irregular migration,” she said. (NAN)



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