Ghana on Tuesday signed a cooperative agreement with International Organisation for Migration (IOM), to create a platform for IOM to address migration challenges in the country.
Under the agreement, IOM would efficiently and effectively prosecute its agenda of offering support to migrants to and from Ghana to ensure legal migration conforms to objectives of government to secure and protect the rights of citizens.
Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, who initialled for Ghana, said although migration of workers, students and professionals was recognised as the current defining feature of the world, migrants of all categories, were susceptible to the abuse of their rights and privileges due to their status as non-nationals.
He noted that there was still a huge gap between laws that guaranteed the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants as against the measures and mechanisms that were put in place by various countries to effectively deliver these rights.
Alhaji Mumuni said government had retooled Ghana’s foreign policy objectives to people-centred in line with the “Better Ghana Agenda”.
He said in line with that policy, the work of IOM to ensure the rights of migrants, were safeguarded to be conformed to government’s objective, adding that the agreement would bring mutual benefits to both parties.
Ms Dyane Epstein, Chief of Mission of IOM, said the international migration was poised to become the key dimension of both globalisation and development.
She noted that international attention in recent years had turned to migration issues, particularly the need for strong management structures and systems that required a comprehensive approach by stakeholders.
Ms Epstein said IOM in collaboration with stakeholders in Ghana would evolve strategies to address the challenges of migration and seized the opportunities migration provided for economic and social growth.
The IOM started its operations in Ghana in 1987 building the capacity of institutions through the Return of Qualified Nationals programme that enabled highly skilled Ghanaian migrants to contribute to the development of the country.
It has implemented a host of projects and programmes involving both internal and international migration in Ghana and West African sub-region over the past two decades in areas like migration policy, labour migration, migration and development, counter-trafficking and assisted voluntary returns.