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NaCSA ends confab to combat irregular migration

March 30, 2015 By Patrick J. Kamara

The National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) last Thursday, 26 March ended a stakeholders’ conference at the Atlantic Hall, National Stadium hostels on ‘Capacity Building for Combating Irregular Migration (CBCIM) in Sierra Leone’.

Irregular migration, according to experts, is a trans-border movement of people across a country without legal documentation, and it can be done through illegal crossing points or by using false documentation.

Giving an overview of the conference, Project Coordinator-CBIM, Umu Nyalay Gbappy, told participants that irregular migration has become a major problem in the world, so much so that Spain – which is hard affected by the menace – was moved to provide funds for 15 countries in ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) to concretize a common approach on migration and development.

“A total of 275,000 euros was budgeted for CBIM project that will last for 18 months. Of cause the lifespan of the project is very short for a menace like this, but we are working strongly to minimize irregular migration in the country through our partners. 10% of the fund was provided by the government of Sierra Leone,” she revealed.

Ms. Gbappy maintained that the objective of the project is to strengthen government’s capacity to effectively manage and reduce to the barest minimum the high rate of irregular migration which will ensure retention of skilled labour and professionals, facilitate cooperation in the fight against irregular migration and reintegration of returning irregular migrants, launch information campaign and sensitising potential migrants on the risk of irregular migration, and to provide temporary care to support new arriving deportees.

She disclosed that they have held similar workshops in all the border districts – Kambia, Bombali, Koinadugu, Kailahun, Kono, and Pujehun – and that they have trained police and immigration workers on how to detect fake travelling documents.

Earlier in his welcome address, Commissioner of NaCSA, Ali Badara Mansaray, said the issue of irregular migration and trafficking in persons is perennial and topical in international development agenda and if not curbed would affect the country in the near future.

He noted that youth are the main demographic group affected by the menace, adding that NaCSA is putting projects together that would attract youth to stay at home.

In his presentation, Director of Provincial and Border Security Department at the Office of National Security, John V. Rogers, said border management is very important for both regular and irregular migrations, but poses a serious challenge as the country has over 890 porous crossing points between the two neighboring countries of Guinea and Liberia.

He maintained that poor delimitation of border areas, inadequate resources support to border monitoring, poor communication to report cross-border crimes, and lack of sufficient border post to ensure the stay of government authorities among a host of others are some of the major challenges to controlling the country’s borders.

Presentations were also made by the Migration Officer at the Immigration Department, Mohamed Koedoyoma; Head of Programmes at Caritas; and D. Shaika, Deputy Director in the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.

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