Jallow, the deputy director of The Gambia Immigration Department (GID) has
stated that 5, 808 Gambians have arrived in Italy via boat in 2017.
“Between January and June 2017, 4, 920 arrived in Italy via boat, while those that arrived in the whole year total to 5, 808, including 4, 249 male, and 122 female. However, 1, 437 were children of which 1, 417 are unaccompanied minors,” she said.
The GID deputy director was speaking yesterday at the opening of two day seminar on National Stakeholders Forum on the Risk of Irregular Migration in The Gambia’.
The seminar, held at the Ocean Bay Hotel in Bakau was funded by the EU through the National Authorising Office Support Unit (NAOSU).
She added: “It is statistical evidence that the number of Gambians using this route has steadily increased over the years. In 2016, arrivals were 41% higher and compared to 2015. Moreover, Gambian minors account among the most common three nationalities of unaccompanied and separated children (USAC) arriving in the European Union through Italy.”
The seminar, Ms. Jallow went on, seeks to address the root cause of irregular migration and the risk associated with it by enhancing the capacity of 33 immigration frontline officers and 17 relevant operative stakeholders on irregular migration and other trans-national crimes and migrants protection and referral.
In 2010, she explained, the irregular migration route shifted from Trans-Atlantic route to the Trans Saharan route and through the central Mediterranean Sea.
“This has no small measure claimed a lot of lives in both the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea. Migrants smugglers and human traffickers have found this irregular migratory corridor very lucrative since the breakdown of law and order in Libya.”
Ousman Ceesay, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of the Interior affirmed the commitment of The Gambia government in addressing the menace of irregular migration.
The seminar, he added, will also enhance and strengthen operational capacity of the participants and also foster a coordinating mechanism amongst the different actors for efficient and effective border control, management and professional service delivery.
Momodou Samateh from NAOSU, spoke at length on the significance of the forum, saying that support from the donors demonstrate their commitment towards supporting Gambia development agenda as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP).
He urged the participants to leave up to expectation in ensuring that the objectives of the seminar are achieved.