Movement from Ghana to other parts of the world has grown substantially over the years. This is due to the several opportunities that come with migration, particularly when done the right way—legally.
Migration provides immense opportunities and benefits — for the migrants, host communities, communities of origin and destination. However, migration can also spell a doom for an individual, their communities or nations when poorly regulated. This is why world leaders are very particular about migration and its related activities.
For instance, on December 10, 2018, over 150 world leaders and representatives of governments met in Marrakesh, Morocco to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) for short, is the first-ever United Nations global agreement on a common approach on dealing with international migration in all its dimensions.
It is important to mention that there are over 258 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth. The figure is even expected to grow for a number of reasons including population growth, trade, increasing connectivity, rising inequality, demographic imbalances and climate change.
Climate change, for instance, has rendered many people homeless, jobless and even threatens their very source (s) of livelihoods, hence pushing them to relocate from their original settlements to other places.
Also, due to rising rate of youth unemployment, many young Ghanaians attempt to reach Europe in search of greener pastures by traveling irregularly through Libya because of mis-information and limited opportunities for safe and regular migration. Many of these daring young Ghanaian migrants either end up losing their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea or live in deplorable conditions in Libya, suffering human rights abuses at the hands of smugglers and in detention centres.
That is why a better and well-coordinated approaches to migration management are needed to help provide new and improved opportunities for all countries involved, be it country of origin or host countries.
The GCM, for instance, recognises, therefore that “No country can address the challenges and opportunities of this global phenomenon [of migration] on its own”.
Similarly, it aso focuses on solutions and best practices to facilitate regular migration.
In an article authored by the Chief of Mission of IOM Ghana, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra in 2018 expressed the views that the global nature of migration required a better coordinated approach to its management.
For her, the IOM in Ghana supported the Ministry of Interior and other stakeholders in national and regional consultations to ensure that priority issues for the country, such as irregular migration, labour migration or counter-trafficking, were thoroughly discussed involving all relevant partners.
She notes that “Migration is inevitable, due to demography and crises, demand for labor, North-South socio-economic disparities, environmental degradation and other driving factors; it is necessary, for socio-economic development and growth; and it is actually desirable, if well-managed.”
Ms Lopez-Ekra, said IOM Ghana will continue to partner the government of Ghana to ensure the full implementation of the GCM in support of national development and to the benefit of Ghanaian migrants abroad and migrants in Ghana.
Due to the critical nature of migration to national development, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in collaboration with UNESCO has developed a manual for migration reporting for Ghanaian journalists and media practitioners.
The rationale of the migration manual is to help enhance the knowledge of journalists and media practitioners in migration issues.