IOM Engages Mogadishu Communities in Discussion of Irregular Migration

By International Office of Migration (IOM)

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Federal Government of Somalia, women's groups, youth groups, and IOM today concluded a seven-day community outreach campaign on irregular migration designed to sensitize local communities in Mogadishu to the realities of irregular migration.

At 3,300 km, Somalia is believed to have Africa's longest coastline and every year hundreds of undocumented young Somali men and women die at sea en route to Europe. But young people continue to make the journey in search of security, jobs and education.

In response to this, Somali regional authorities with support from IOM, last week launched an awareness raising campaign targeting potential migrants with messages tailored to help them make informed decisions.

The campaign was funded by the Norwegian government and used a variety of channels including radio, TV, SMS, billboards and community outreach activities.

Over the last seven days, more than 2,800 youth in primary schools, high schools, technical institutes and universities across Mogadishu have been reached through the campaign.

Over the next six months, more young adults will be targeted in Baidoa, Galkacyo, Garowe, Bossaso, Hargeisa, Beledweyn, Kismayo and Mogadishu and the campaign hopes to eventually reach over five million potential migrants.

Speaking at a football match attended by 400 people marking the end of the launch week, Somalia's Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Mohamed Abdi called on Somalis to engage more proactively in saving the lives of many young people who are lost at sea. “We must join forces and keep reaching out to each other, until all of us are fully aware of the dangers of irregular migration,” he said.