The African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) have stepped up efforts with member countries to ease legal migration to European countries with a view to checking the number of youths who lose their lives taking illegal routes.
The Deputy Representative (Protection), United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Brigitte Mukanga-Eno disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during a stakeholders meeting.
According to her, the AU and the EU have been holding series of meeting on legal migration, looking at the opportunities EU member states can create to enable people to migrate normally.
She said: “Because many of the companies abroad still need labour, why can’t we organize a proper way to ease migration instead of rejecting visa application and allowing young people follow the risky road. At ECOWAS level, a number of policies are being put in place to create legal migration opportunities for the young people.”
Mukanga-Eno revealed that studies conducted by UNHCR on the migration and asylum situation in Nigeria shows that people follow illegal route into Europe due to stringent visa processing methods.
She urged the government to reform and regulate travel agencies against coming up with bogus adverts that lure youths into taking dangerous routes into Europe, adding that the government must regulate the adverts before allowing them to go on air or get published in the print media.
The UNHCR deputy country representative admonished member states to always grant asylum for those moving willingly either because of war situation or insecurity.
The President and Founder of the Pan African Institute of Global Affairs and Strategy, Ambassador Martins Uhomoibhi, lamented the death recorded on the Mediterranean sea, saying in 2016 alone, close to 9,000 people were lost while going through the desert and the Mediterranean in search for greener pasture.
He said the bestiality to which migrants are treated while migrating to Europe should not be allowed to continue, noting that the situation is more or less a modern day slavery that must be stopped by all means possible.