A Media Training and Public Sensitization on ECOWAS Free Movement and Migrant Rights has been launched in Accra.
The training is under the ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration Project, which is to promote free movement and migrants’ rights in West Africa
It will contribute to promoting knowledge and awareness of national and international frameworks for migration among frontline journalists and field correspondents.
Giving a keynote address, the Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid explained that the training is to help media practitioners to know what to report on issues of migrants. He said the media was a power tool, which the citizens follow to take an informed decision, thus the wrong impression that would be created about migrants would determine the relationship between citizens and the migrants living in a country.
“Given the afore-mentioned, there is no doubt that the media has a crucial role to play in the promotion of safe, secure intra-regional migration,” he stated adding, “when it comes to migration issues, the focus of the Ghanaian media has largely dwelt on the negative consequences.”
According to him, recent media reports suggested that migrants posed a significant threat to the country’s development due to their alleged involvement in unlawful activities that result in the destruction of our natural environment.
He cited, “illegal mining, nomadic grazing, trading in prohibited markets, fake commodities and human trafficking,” as some of the unlawful activities.
The Minister added that, given the magnitude of the challenge, there was the need to create a critical mass of advocates in the media who are willing and able to provide fair and objective coverage on issues of migration.
The project, ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration Project, will further create a critical mass of advocates in the media who are willing and able to provide fair and objective coverage on issues of migration.
The intended beneficiaries are frontline journalists (field correspondents and reporters) in the electronic, print, radio, television and online, drawn from the various media networks and training institutions.
Other beneficiaries include representatives of civil society, local authorities and migrant groups within the project target regions.
Delivering a statement from the Interior Ministry, Mrs. Adelaide Annor-Kumi, Chief Director of the Ministry indicated that the Ministry fully appreciated the efforts being put in by the organizers, as they took up the responsibility to bring issues on migration to the doorsteps of the media.
Also, Mr Eric Akomanyi from the International Organization of Migration (IOM) said attention should be paid to vulnerable migrants, ensuring their rights.“The media can’t be left out, thus the need to strengthen the capacity of the media,” he noted, while commending those behind the training.
The ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration Project falls under the ECOWAS/EU/IOM/FMM West Africa Support to Free Movement and Migration in West Africa.
It is jointly funded by the EU and ECOWAS and implemented by IOM in partnership with International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and International Labour Organization (ILO).
The fund seeks to support actions of civil society and local authorities in implementing regional and national policies locally. The local implementing organization in Ghana is Media Response, the company at the centre of the training.
Meanwhile, Project Manager of the ECOWAS Free Movement and \migration Project, Mr. Samuel Nii Dodoo said the training workshops will focus on investigative journalism on free movement and migration in 4 regions; Accra, Western, Ashanti and Northern.
“The training will also cover some aspects of ethical reporting to improve in terms of ethical factors such as verifying sources and improving the use of migration terminologies.
“20 participants comprising journalists and local authorities will be invited to participate in each of these workshops. Knowledgeable and qualified experts will be invited to facilitate the training modules.”
By Maxwell Ofori[email protected]