By Jacinta Nwachukwu
Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) says it has concluded plan to organise a training to build and enhance the capacity of border operatives so as to protect migrants’ rights.
The Executive Director, AYGF, Dr Arome Salifu, disclosed this at a news briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
Salifu said that the training became necessary considering the abuse of right of migrants at the borders by some operatives.
He noted that the aims of project are to:
“Enhance knowledge and understanding of border operatives on issues of migrants’ rights.
“Raise consciousness of border operatives on the need to operate within the existing national, regional and international protocol on protection of migrants.
“Facilitate operational efficiency and inter-agency cooperation at the borders, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of compliance by border operatives.
“Improve migrants’ protection and human right conditions in Seme, Jibiya and Mfum borders.”
He noted that drivers of the migrants’ right abuses at the borders were ignorance of migrant’s rights and dignity, poor technical and operational capacity, corruption, inter-agency rivalries and red-tapism.
Others he mentioned were poor technological application, working conditions and incentives, poor oversight and ethical operational deficiencies.
Salifu further said that without adequately addressing the drivers of migrants’ right abuses at the borders, efforts to engender international best practices in defending, protecting and projecting the rights, would be wasted.
He said that the security and safety of migrants would be relatively or totally futile both on the immediate and long run.
“While it is a truism that this project might not solve all the problems highlighted it will, however, surely address some of the drivers of the problems,” he said.
According to him, the capacity building project is to build and enhance the capacity of border operatives on identifying, protecting and respecting the rights, privileges and dignity of migrants crossing Nigerian borders.
He said that the Foundation would start with three major borders as pilot projects and the selected borders were Seme (Lagos), Jibiya (Katsina) and Mfum (Cross-River).
“It is also targeting enhancing inter-agency cooperation for operational efficiency, zero corruption and right abuses at the borders.
“The workshop which starts on March 21 to April 15 will be under strict COVID-19 preventive protocol.
“It will involve 50 border operatives and border community stakeholders in each of the borders to be facilitated by experienced and capable border management.’’
Similarly, Jennifer Aga, Assistant Director, Legal, Vulnerable Department, National Human Right Commission (NHRC), said there was need to ensure that the rights of migrants were protected.
Aga said that was why the Commission was partnering AYGF to enhance the protection of migrants at the borders,so there is need to educate the border personnel on the rights of migrants and how they can be protected”.
Mr Chukwuemeka Anene from IOM, however, advised that the intending participants of the training should be committed and ensure better management of the borders through the opportunity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is being supported by the European Union (EU) through the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) under the EU-IOM Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Nigeria.
The Foundation, which was founded in 2003, is deeply into communities, youth, social, economic and political development within the country and around the sub region. (NAN)