…urges increased efforts to protect rights of migrants
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government, as part of efforts to encourage safe and regular migration, is building the capacity of youths in the state, equipping them with the requisite skills and knowledge to become globally competitive.
Obaseki said this in his message to commemorate the 2022 International Migrants Day, marked yearly by the United Nations and its sister agencies to promote safe and regular migration.
The governor, while highlighting the roles of migrants in driving the economic development, called for increased action among global stakeholders to protect the rights of legal migrants.
According to him, “This year’s International Migrants Day presents another opportunity to review efforts to promote and ensure safe and regular migration globally, ensuring the protection of the dignity and rights of these migrants who deploy their skills and expertise to contribute to economic growth and development.
“As a government, we understand the need to promote and encourage safe migration and are discouraging illegal migration and making it unattractive by creating better opportunities for youths in the state.
“We are paying critical attention to the education sector, prioritizing our basic education level, making sure that every child who goes through our educational system learns from a very early age and is confident and globally competitive.
“We are training our youths and equipping them with technical and vocational skills. The state government, in these past six years, with the help of our partners, has continued to empower our people in different areas of endeavours, including technology, agriculture and healthcare, among others so that they have globally sought after skills to travel to any part of the world and earn a decent wage.”
Restating the need for world leaders and other stakeholders to respect laws and conventions that protect the rights of migrants, the Governor commended countries across the world that have shown uncommon kindness in accommodating those fleeing from conflict and creating the space for people from other countries to live and ply their trade in their countries.
According to UN Secretary General, António Guterres, “Migrant rights are human rights. They must be respected without discrimination – and irrespective of whether their movement is forced, voluntary, or formally authorized. We must do everything possible to prevent the loss of life – as a humanitarian imperative and a moral and legal obligation. We must provide for search and rescue efforts and medical care.
“We must expand and diversify rights-based pathways for migration – to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and address labour market shortages. And we need greater international support for investments in countries of origin to ensure migration is a choice, not a necessity.”