The Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Nigeria, Franz Celestin recently disclosed that as of May 2021, over 29,000 young people from Sub-Saharan Africa with the majority of Nigerians made it to the shores of Europe, through the Mediterranean sea.
“Those who have made it to the shores whether success or not depends on how you look it. If getting their feet on the ground means that they are successful, yes, more than 29,000 people made it,” he said.
He said the tragic side of it was that 761 have died in the process, adding that countless thousands and thousands of irregular migrants estimated at about 13,000 people as of May 2021 have been trapped and held in coordinated detention camps within some African countries along the route.
He lamented that Mali is a destination country for the trafficking of Nigerian women for sexual exploitation and that what is needed to be done would be a coordinated approach by the ECOWAS countries to disrupt the operations of the network of criminals involved in human trafficking.
Celestin said: “It is important to know that trafficking of human beings is a 150 billion dollars per year enterprise. The criminals make a lot of money from it. So, the only thing is how to make it difficult for them to do it.
“We have seen a lot of people migrating because of economic pressure, we have a high number of people dying in the sea and today more than 29,000 people have made it to European shores,” he said.
He noted the organization has seen the level of suffering encountered by the migrants and that this would not stop unless the drivers of youth for Migration are eliminated including hardship, conflict, disaster and youth unemployment among others.
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