Madam Belinda Sika Anim, Assistant Controller of Immigration (ACOI), said migrants with falsified documents and doubtful status coupled with fear of authorities usually endure unfair treatment and hostilities in destination countries.
“Migrants living outside the country and working outside immigration rules encounter abusive employment relations and poor living conditions”, she said.
ACOI Sika Anim was addressing a durbar organised by Migration Information Bureau of GIS in partnership with Thematic Programme of Migration and Asylum in Accra.
It was to sensitise traders and travellers on migration related issues and the consequences of undocumented migration.
A research conducted by GIS indicated that half-truth and lack of information were the major reasons why people embarked on clandestine migration.
The Centre for Migration, University of Ghana, has also conducted a research to confirmed GIS assertion and further stated that prospective migrants’ perception of immigration as the foremost way out of poverty was another factor.
ACOI Sika Anim said ECOWAS had adopted a protocol on free movement of persons and the rights of residence and establishment because West African citizens formed part of the world’s most mobile population.
“Free movement does not mean travelling without any travel document but with valid travel document to improve the free movement of persons within the West African sub region and business will boom in effect”, she said.
She noted that potential impact of migration on development could be realised only when migration was undertaken in a humane and orderly manner.
ACOI Sika Anim said Ghana had been categorised as an origin, transit and destination country therefore GIS was committed to ensure Ghanaians travel with proper documents and use legal channels to their destinations.
She explained that people who were involved in irregular migration from Ghana to European Union countries illegally cross the Mediterranean Sea or settle in Northern African countries and later move to Spain, Italy and Malta.
ACOI Sika Anim noted that some migrants also cross borders illegally and cross the Sahara Desert to Libya and continue to Italy.
“Both ways are risky and the fatalities recorded are enormous. These migrants needlessly die in their bid to seek greener pastures in Europe”, she said.
ACOI Sika Anim therefore encouraged the public to acquire valid travelling documents to enhance free movement of persons across the globe.