SAFETY OF OUR PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY RESIDENTS ABROAD MUST BE SECURED.
In time past a number of Africans managed to travel through various means such as scholarships, approved and unapproved means by air, land and sea, to Europe and the United States of America. These men who included Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe of Nigeria, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya returned home in the 50s and 60s after hustling and studying in various educational institutions to lead their nations to gain independence from colonial rule. Other Africans who studied abroad to become medical doctors, engineers, administrators etc. are either providing services in the united nations and other organizations abroad and at home in Africa.
If African youth adventurers to Europe and America had things going a bit easy for them in the past, today the story is different. Due to various reasons, migrants from Africa and other parts of the world are finding it difficult to travel abroad, let alone manage to stay in those foreign countries. News streaming these days include the untimely death of some people who attempted to travel to Europe through the Sahara Desert. According to survivors in the journey the dead people numbering 44 included Ghanaians, Nigerians who died of thrust as they were about to go through the Mediterranean desert to Libya through to Europe. This information came to light through the Red Cross Society that deserve commendation. Before then some 40 Ghanaians also died in the hands of the Gambian forces while venturing to travel to Europe through that nation.
Today many Ghanaians who managed to travel to Europe, the United States and the Middle East have been found wanting and therefore are in serious difficulty. Some 7,000 Ghanaians who were found to have overstayed their welcome in the United States of America are being sent back home to Ghana in batches.
Of recent There were reports published on radio and television that the deportees were handcuffed and forced on board the plane to Ghana.
Though the US Embassy has dismissed the allegation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is insisting investigations should be conducted by parliament and other security outfits to establish the truth.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs , Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey indicated that this has become necessary due to conflicting reports received from the deportees and the US Embassy on the treatment on board the chartered flight to Ghana.
Ghanaian migrants are not going through difficulties only in the United States of America, but in Europe and the middle eastern countries as well. Information reaching us indicate that apart from the United States of America which will deport Ghanaians, Saudi Arabia is also to deport over 800 Ghanaians who have overstayed in that country. Most of those returning from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Qatar and other Arab nations are eager to return home because they say that they are being maltreated by citizens of those countries as they serve mainly as house maids and cleaners. Most of them are recruited by quack travel agents to work in firms with good payments only for them to be made menial workers in homes. As a result of this the ministry of foreign affairs will have a physical presence in Kuwait to receive complaints from our nationals who are being maltreated
The Foreign Affairs Minister said she had a meeting with the Ambassadors of the nations concerned adding that The Minister also pledged government’s commitment to ensuring that Ghanaian citizens are “safe and protected as their rights are respected.”
Although the Foreign Affairs Ministry is taking steps to deal with issues regarding migration of Ghanaians abroad, the nation needs to take the following measures to stem the tide of increase of the number of people leaving Ghana through unapproved means.
The government must strengthen the hands of the Ghana Immigration Service and the police to continue investigations on human trafficking of boys and girls to neighboring countries. It is through human trafficking that our youths can find their ways through the Sahara Desert to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.
The government must also investigate all travel agencies and ban those whose stock in trades has been to recruit travelers to Europe the United States without going through the right procedure. All travel agencies which are found to have sent people to Europe to perform duties other than those for which they were recruited should be arrested and prosecuted
Because most of the migrants travel out due to their inability to gain access to employment at home there is the need for them to be assisted to get employed at home.
Fortunately, the youth employment agency has developed many modules on which the youth could be engaged. Apart from that the government’s intention to set up factories in all districts in Ghana is a good move likely to get many youths in gainful employment. as the Ghanaian youth are in school they should be counseled on the importance of working at home as entrepreneurs, or technocrats capable of holding their own in the country. the youth must be made to appreciate the dangers of venturing out of the country to hustle in Europe the US and Arab countries. Under the constitution and international conventions freedom of movement is guaranteed. However, because nations are required to step in to offer assistance when their citizens are in trouble abroad, the authorities have a duty to take steps to assist all potential travelers by making sure their safety abroad are secured.
BY: ALHAJI ALHASAN ABDULAI / GHANAMEDIAWORLD.COM
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT,
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