By Amadou Manjang
Returnees, activists and workers of the International Organization for Migration on Saturday, 18 December, 2021 celebrated the International Migrant Day by reflecting on the struggles, death and resilience of irregular migrants during their journeys.
Amie Jobe, a victim of human trafficking, said migrants such as victim of human trafficking faced a lot of difficulties, adding that migration day is dedicated to reflect and address those difficulties.
“We need to help address the challenges,” she said.
Jobe said when she returned home, she faced discrimination and disappointment from society. It was difficult for her. She said Migration As Messengers has helped her to overcome it.
Migrants As Messenger (MAM) is a group of returnees, media personnel and advocates that focus on providing people with reliable information about irregular migration.
Mustapha Sallah, a returnee and member of MAM, said the observance of migration day is important as they reflect and provide information to people about irregular migration and the dangers involved.
“We provide them with information so that they won’t be victims as we fell in the past,” he said.
Modou Ceesay, a teacher and migration activist, said migrants need to be honoured.
“And we need to pray for the lost lives,” he said, adding that people need to stand against discrimination, depression and stigmatization migrants faced upon their return.
Fatima Sonko, gender-based violent activist, said migration is affecting the country’s population composition, especially among the youth population. She encouraged the youth to stay in the Gambia and work hard because they can make it in the country.
Miko Alazas, Media and Communication Officer of International Organization for Migration (IOM), said the day aims to reflect on the challenges the Gambia faced in terms of migration.
IOM media and communications officer added that young Gambians are dying and being discriminated because of migration.
He however said the day also aims to celebrate the resilience and the strength of migrants. He further stated that the International Organization for Migration is here to promote safe migration.