The Western Region Commander of the Ghana Immigration Services, DCI Dr. Prosper Price Delali Asima, has disclosed that over fifty migrants in the Region were deported back to their home countries for irregular migration.
“The nationalities of those deported vary. We have mostly Chinese and Nigerians. But we also had Pakistanis, Americans and Canadians. Majority of them overstay their permit and a few other nationals used unauthorized entry,” he told us in an interview while participating in a procession through the principal streets of Sekondi-Takoradi.
The procession, which involved personnel from the various security services, was to create awareness on irregular migration and associated dangers ahead of the celebration of the International Day of the Migrant.
DCI Dr. Prosper Price Delali Asima explained that irregular migration is the migration of people into a country where they violate the immigration laws of that country.
He stated that there are four variances under irregular migration and mentioned them as the unauthorized crossing of a country’s border, travelling with falsified documents, overstaying one’s permit and an asylum seeker who continues to stay in a country when not granted refugee status.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), between January and August this year over 39,000 people arrived in Europe through irregular migration.
Out of that number 840 deaths were recorded.
“Even with the number of deaths the figure represents those who were found as many got drowned on the high seas and were not found,” DCI Dr. Delali Asima said.
He stated that the kind of abuses meted out to migrants who are caught trying to reach Europe by criminal groups are mindboggling.
Many of the migrants, he added, die due to the abuses and underscored the need for people to travel through approved means and routes.
“Apart from the fact that some lose their lives, a good number of them get harmed. Trafficking criminal groups are able to pick some migrants and subject them to very inhumane treatments. The ladies, for example, are subjected to horrific sexual abuses, put to servitude and treated without any dignity. You are aware of stories of young ladies who go to Asia and are subjected to various forms of abuses.”
He noted “that is why we continue to educate people not to engage in irregular migration. We are not saying people should not travel. But what we insist on is that if you desire to travel you have to ensure that you go through the right documentation and through the right routes. This is to ensure your own safety and that is very crucial”.
2019 International Day of the Migrant
The International Migrants Day was set up by the UN in 2000 and is celebrated on December 18.
The Day is celebrated to recognize the contributions of migrants to national development.
It is also to speak out against the abuses and violations of the rights of the migrants and how best to minimize them.
Ghana will celebrate the day on the theme ‘Stop irregular migration’.
Western Region will be the first region to host the celebration outside the Greater Accra Region since 2000.
A number of activities including free health screening, donation to the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital and sensitization procession has been penciled to mark the celebration.
By Eric Yaw Adjei