The International Migration Organization (IOM) Ghana has held a series of community intervention programmes to mark the 2021 International Migrants Day (IMD) in the Berekum Municipality of the Bono Region.
Personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Assembly Members, Traditional Authorities, youth groups and returned migrants joined the IOM officials in a float and a film screening on migration.
The events, which reflected on the 2021 theme of the IMD: “Harnessing the potential of human mobility,” were to discuss migration-related topics such as safe migration, irregular migration, stigmatization and opportunities in the country.
Migrants Day is observed every year on 18 December, a global occasion, to discuss and reflect on migration.
Migration is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), calling on the international community to facilitate orderly, safe, and regular migration, and is at the core of the Global Compact for Migration, adopted in 2018 by more than 160 countries, including Ghana.
Addressing a community durbar at Senase in the Municipality, Miss Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager at IOM Ghana, said, “sustainable reintegration of returnees is only possible when all migration stakeholders are on board, a participatory approach is applied, and communities take ownership.”
“IOM’s innovative and integrated approaches involve reintegration at individual, community, and structural level, and also recognize the effect that irregular migration has on the mental and physical well-being of a returnee and therefore includes a psychosocial component,” she said.
A short film “Fati’s Choice” stole events during a community film screening as it invited the audience to reflect on the issue of stigmatization, a challenge, which migrants and returnees often encounter.
The events also provided opportunities for migrant returnees to share their stories of migration, return and reintegration to discourage potential migrants from risking their lives through the Mediterranean for better employment opportunities elsewhere.
EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), and the German Federal Foreign Office supported the events.