Over 3,500 Ghanaian travellers voluntarily return home— IOM

Over 3,500 Ghanaian travellers voluntarily return home— IOM

More than 3,500 Ghana­ians who left the country in search of greener pastures have been assisted to voluntarily return home since 2017; data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Ghana has shown.

Of the figure, over 3,200 are males with the rest comprising; women and children, while the majority of the adults fall between the age range of 18 and 30 years.

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The data shows that they returned from more than 30 European and African countries primarily Libya, Niger, Burkina Faso, Morocco and Algeria.

Their arrival was facilitated under the European Union (EU) -IOM Joint Initiative (JI) for Migrant Protection and Reintegration Programme in collaboration with government agencies.

Last year, 1,050 returnees arrived via char­tered flights and as of October this year, 460 followed with more expected to join them later.

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tegration Assistant of IOM Ghana, Victoria Adomako said beyond the data more people have been supported to return home under other voluntary programmes.

She said Bono towns including Techiman, and others in Bono East Region, witnessed a substantial influx of returnees, followed by Ashanti where returnees went to towns like Aboaso, Mamponten, Ejura, and Aboabo.

In Greater Accra, she said areas like Nima, Ashaiman, and Madina and Kasoa in the Cen­tral Region experience significant numbers of returning individuals while there are increas­ing returns to the Northern and Western parts of the country.

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She said the returned who often reach out to IOM in their countries of destina­tion come home due to unfulfilled dreams, conflicts and other factors which had left a diverse impact on them, including trauma and regret.

“For returns from JIs, we have a lot of Ghanaians returning with mental issues be­cause of the trauma they have been through in their migration journeys. We have trained clinical psychologists and therapists who provide services to them,” she said.

Ms Adomako explained that under the IOM’s comprehensive initiatives, pre-depar­ture counseling, economic, social, and psychosocial support were provided and they are equipped with the necessary tools for success­ful reintegration, including skill development, educa­tion for children, and social support.

She said the IOM had partnerships with state agencies Youth Employment Authori­ty, and the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Commission who help to support the returnees to set up in the agriculture, trade and other areas de­pending on their interests and skills acquired during their sojourn.

“We give social support and education for the children and minors,” she said.

On challenges, Ms Adomako mentioned the stigmatisation of returnees and obstacles in accessing healthcare after they arrive home; the absence of a common platform for data effective policy implementation and deci­sion-making.

She advocated a comprehensive govern­ment involvement, while skills development and entrepreneurship drive should be in­creased to address unemployment, one of the key reasons for the migration.

For his part, an IOM Ghana Reintegration and Community Outreach Assistant, Collins Yeboah said some of the returnees travel using regular channels, but overstayed and ended up in irregular situations.

He said the IOM Ghana had intensified awareness creation at Schools and in commu­nities while it had created an information por­tal (IOM X/Waka Well) to provide accurate travel information to the public.

He said IOM was not against migration because it had socio-economic benefits, but it would encourage the public to embark on safe and orderly migration.


Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

An Entertainment Columnist, Content Writer, Blogger, Novelist, Poet, and a Publicist. For business or story tip off, contact me on +233 24 646 6866 or email: [email protected]

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