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AVOID ILLEGAL MIGRATION EXPERTS WARN NIGERIANS

Illegal migration and inability to obey rules and regulations of other nations have been identified as key factors responsible for the abuse of migrants’ fundamental Human Rights.

The Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service, Enugu State Command, Mr. Mathew Okosun made this known to Radio Nigeria on the occasion of this year’s International Migrants Day.

A record from the Global Commission on International Migration indicates that in 2005, the number of international migrants increased from 75 million to about 200 million.

The United Nations General Assembly in 1999 designated December 18 as International Migrants Day to advocate protection of migrants rights across the globe.

The Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service, Enugu State Command, Mr. Okosun explained that the respect for the rights of migrants should be paramount if migrants could follow right procedure for migration.

Mr. Okosun while urging the government and parents not to relent in sensitizing youths to issues of migration said the recent case of deportees from Libya were Nigerians involved in illegal migration.

A Legal Practitioner in Enugu, Mr. Godstime Okafor noted that there was existing legal frame work to protect the rights of migrants as embedded in section 10 of the immigration act.

Throwing more light on the issue, a former special rapporteur to the United Nations, Professor Joy Ezilo, suggested that government should set up migrants information centres across the nation to enable migrants acquaint themselves with the laws of the countries they wished to migrate to as practiced in developed nations.

The Branch Secretary, Nigeria Red Cross Society, Mr. Tony Udegbu noted that the rights of migrants was a vital aspect of their duty as migrants were normally given succour through Restoring  Family Link (RFL),  to alleviate their plight.

Mr. Udegbu also added that language barriers and inability of migrants to adapt to the custom and tradition of a place often resulted in the abuse of their rights.

EVELYN AWUNOR

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