media and migration

The media has an important role to play in tackling the crisis of irregular migration.

Only a few print and online media in many African countries write regularly and in-depth on migration-related issues or notice the numerous migrants departing almost on a daily basis.

The interest in migration reporting is sporadic and is heavily dependent on spectacular events, such as the drowning of a large number of migrants in the Mediterranean.

It has been established that reporting on irregular migration in the sender countries portrays the problem as that of the receiving countries. This masks the personal tragedies of many irregular migrants and the suffering of their families back home.

Since the 1990s, they have been numerous cases of migrants lost in transit with their fate unknown to their families until today. Most of these migrants have actually died during their journey. As Africans, not knowing the final resting place of relatives is a particularly painful event.

Irregular migrants in the transit or destination countries due to their precarious situation are forced to engage in crimes, constituting a negative turn in the lives of young people who had other nobler hopes for their future. Female migrants who are particularly at risk are often forced into prostitution with the known repercussions.

Also, the families of many migrants sell their assets including houses to sponsor the journey which when it ends in the death of the migrants leave them with the double loss of a loved one and their asset.

Moreover, the mass migration of mostly young people out of their country deprives it of development agents. These able-bodied men and women who in their efforts to secure their means of livelihood at home would engage in economic activities in their home countries become loafers and criminals in the transit countries or final destination of irregular immigration.

It has therefore become necessary for the media to improve reporting on migration with a focus on the negative impact of irregular migration on the society.

The Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria therefore works with journalists to promote an increased public awareness of the dangers and risks of irregular migration and the negative impact on the society.

© Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria, 2018