#Article (Archive)

Addressing illegal migration requires collective efforts

Apr 6, 2011, 2:38 PM

The exodus of people from one place to another in search of greener pastures described as illegal migration seems to becoming reduced in the country.

Over the years, scores of young people have risked their lives on the journey to reach Europe, through the Sahara desert or across the Atlantic Ocean.

However, with the joint efforts of the Gambian Ministry of Interior and satellite agencies like Immigration Department, couple with the uncertainty now over there in Europe, it seems the campaign against illegal migration is effective.

Indeed, also as a result of the intervention of development partners like the Spanish government, as well as the civil society organizations in the country, more youths are changing their attitude.

However, despite these achievements and measures, some youths would still like to go leaving us wondering what do they really want.

Nonetheless, we firmly believe that the root causes and push factors such as unemployment among youths must be tackled seriously.

In recent years, many young people, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, have been risking their lives to enter Europe, no matter what it takes.

Still at home, the partnership between agencies and groups like Operation No Back Way to Europe (ONBE) is really helping in the awareness creation.

Similarly, we would also like to commend the US Embassy for supporting community-based organizations like ONBE through its Democracy and Human Rights Fund to train their members on the dangers associated with illegal migration.

We do hope that with more training and community sensitizations, as well as increased job opportunities, our youths will be encouraged to stay at home.