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IOM to engage media on ethical, well-informed migration-related reporting –official

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says it is committed to building the capacity of media practitioners to become more equipped and well informed in reporting migration-related issues.

Mr. Elijah Elaigwu of the Migration Management unit, IOM office in Benin, who disclosed this on Thursday, in Benin, noted that the agency had been collaborating with the Federal Government since 2001, on assisted voluntary return and reintegration support to Nigerian migrants.

Since April 2017, he said, the agency had assisted over 21,000 stranded migrants in Libya, Niger, Mali, and other transit/destination countries with their voluntary return to Nigeria.

“IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits both migrants and society”.

“IOM also acts with its partners in the international and local community to assist in meeting the operational challenges of migration; advance understanding of migration issues; encourage social and economic development, through migration; and uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants”, he explained.

He noted that because of the vantage position of the media as a critical stakeholder, IOM would be engaging practitioners to build their capacity to provide ethical and well-informed coverage of migration-related activities.

According to him, “Through behaviour change communication campaigns, outreach and media reports, IOM seeks to equip vulnerable migrants with the information they need to migrate safely and access assistance, when necessary.

“IOM also aims to address the root causes of vulnerability to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, through engagement with the media and targeted interventions at the individual, household, community, and structural levels. ”

Elaigwu said that within this framework and in understanding the role of the media in information dissemination, IOM would organise a media dialogue for editors of print, TV, radio and digital media before the end of the year.

“The dialogue workshop is aimed at building the capacity of participants in providing ethical and well-informed migration-related reporting with focus on data analysis and reporting, migration environment and climate change, human rights and migrant’s protection, migration and challenges of COVID-19, among others.

“The training is also a platform to strengthen existing partnerships between IOM and media organizations,” he said.

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