Taiwo George

The maiden Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) Intercontinental Migration Summit rounded off on Friday with call for affirmative actions to tackle various migration menaces.

The hybrid conference hosted by the Medgar Evers College (MEC), City University, New York City (CUNY) at Brooklyn was themed: Appraising Human Mobility: Prospects and Challenges of Labour Migration Post Pandemic Era was held between November 2-4.

From L-R: Dr Williams Azuma Ijoma, the Francophone Coordinator of the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) presenting a souvenir of the JIFORM Continental Migration Summit to Kimberly D. Whitehead, Ph.D. Senior Vice President for Strategy and Chief of Staff MSCHE Accreditation Liaison Officer Medgar Evers College (MEC), City University New York City (CUNY) at the closing session of the event on November 4, 2022 in Brooklyn. 

Dr Ajibola Abayomi, President of the JIFORM who spoke via zoom said there was need for affirmative actions to address the mirage of challenges associated with human mobility and migration governance.

He charged nations to show more commitments towards eradicating poverty, inequality and create more jobs for the needy to hinder human trafficking, slavery and ensure improved labour migration relations with strategies to also address concerns on climatic challenges posing threats to humanity. 

“Global warming is worth giving serious attention. The anticipated climatic reactions projected by the world bank to affect over 216 million people globally by 2030 as an offshoot of emission and environmental hazards such as flooding and weather reaction should concern all of us. 

“We must not pretend, the mass movement of migrants to be affected in the North Africa, Asia, Europe, America and others would lead to unprecedented inflation and dislocation of the world economy order if steps are not taken to forestall it. The developed countries that are responsible for most of the consequences of the global warming should fulfill the accumulated annual $100 billion overdue Green Climatic Funds pledge to the global south nations to mitigate the effect before it is too late  ” he warned. 

Ajibola called for support for the 280.6 million international migrants accounting for almost 4 percent of the world population of 7.8 billion with more friendly policies and deliberate evidence based journalism laced with human face given their roles as economic developers. 

Speaking, both Kimberly  Whitehead, PhD, the Senior Vice President for Strategy at MEC and Dr JoAnne Rolle, the Dean of MEC admonished nations and stakeholders to formulate strategies with clear road map to counter human trafficking luring women and children into slavery across the world. 

Professor Byron Price from the MEC raised concerns on millions of migrants in detentions camps in America and other countries. 

“An estimated 660,000 children – 150,000 last year alone – have been separated from one parent or both by our nation’s heartless detain-and-deport immigration laws. 

According to a report by the National Council of La Raza and the Urban Institute, the majority of these children are under age 10—many are infants, toddlers and preschoolers. These chil- dren not only experience trauma now, but will likely suffer from this event for the rest of their lives. 

“When children experience strong or prolonged adversity without adequate adult support, they are flooded with stress hormones which can disrupt the development of the brain and other systems, resulting in what researchers at Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child call toxic stress response” he lamented.

Also at the summit, Gerry Weiner, the former secretary of Government and Minister of Immigration and Citizenship in Canada pushed for reappraisal of migration policies with friendly inputs as being done in his country. 

He argued that provisions must be made for the less privilege to lessen agitation for revolution and migration unrest globally.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Apha Timbo, suggested that the West African nations must evolve capacity building for migrant workers training and preparation of migrants with soft and hard skills and a digitalized migration for tracking, monitoring and social protection.

In her submission, Dr Princess Ocansey, a member of the African Union Labour Migration Advisory Committee bemoaned the unemployment ratio in Africa but averred that: “Well managed Migration can provide several solutions! From temporary circular migration opportunities, to strategically positioned remittances to fix emerging forex issues and more.

Solomon A Folorunsho and his counterparts from Home for the Needy, Germany sought supports for the over 5000 victims of forced migration at the center in Benin City, Nigeria 

They stressed the need to embrace peaceful resolution of conflicts to reduce the numbers of internally displaced persons across the continents especially in the north east Nigeria. 

Contributors at the summit included Ms Philomena Gnanapragsam, the Director of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD); Professor Fadhel Kaboub, a Tunisian-American associate professor of economics at Denison University, Ohio, USA;  and  Ms Vergil Ratliff, Texas Comptroller of Public Funds Accounts-Criminal Investigation.

Others were Thuleleni Mbhansa, female advocate of High Court of South Africa; Ms Phelisa Nkonmo from South Africa; Vera Bumpers, the Metro Chief of Policy, Houston, Ms Velaze Vinolia Mabele, the CEO, Lebema Media House Limited, USA; the Head of Media Unit of the Nigerians in Disapora Commission, Abdur- Rahman Balogun; Dr Wale Idris Ajibade, Director of  African Views, USA, Ms Evelyn Cel Manavalla from Spain, Teresa Jabob from Home for the Needy Germany. 

JIFORM is a migration journalists body founded in 2019 with over 300 journalists focusing on migration matters across the continents.

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