Assistant Controller of Immigration (ACOI), Belinda Anim of the Migration Management Bureau of GIS, said middlemen who called themselves “Burgers” did not paint the true picture about life overseas but created the impression that all was rosy.
She said if they sought the correct information they would be informed to make better choices as well as save themselves from the hazards of travelling abroad.
ACOI Anim gave the advice during a campaign programme for students of the Kinbu Secondary/Technical School in Accra on the dangers of irregular migration.
The students were also educated on the effects of human trafficking and the processes of acquiring a passport. They were also entertained with a drama and documentary on the effects of irregular migration.
ACOI Anim explained that the campaign was being undertaken because there were many Ghanaians “fleeing poverty” at home and described the situation as alarming.
She noted that most of the youth were normally misinformed and told half-truths of the prospects in these countries, which often led to hardships and in some cases death.
ACOI Anim said irregular migration issues were high on the policy agenda of the European Union (EU) and its member states.
“Unknown to us, there is pressure on North African countries to clamp down on irregular migration over their territories, even though they have intensified border control and toughened migration laws …,” she added.
ACOI Anim appealed to the students to secure the necessary documentation and information before embarking on such trips.
She cited irregular entry and overstaying as some forms of unlawful migration and attributed the causes to low wages, poverty, sibling and family rivalry, better medical care and enjoyment.
ACOI Anim said most of these irregular migrants did not get to their destinations as a result of deaths, sicknesses and starvation.
She said profiles taken on irregular migrants indicated that men were mostly affected and attributed it to their boldness.
ACOI Anim appealed to the students to shy away from middlemen, who would only squander their money and abandon them during difficult situations.