By Wemimo Folorunso
The International Organisation for Migration IOM, Nigeria, has advised journalists to always protect the rights of vulnerable migrants in their respective areas of practice.
Speaking during the just concluded three-day media training which took place in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, IOM Nigeria Public Information Officer, Stylia Kampani said the media should observe some control mechanisms in the area of data collection particularlly on irregular migration.
The three-day training which took place between April 27 and 29 aimed at building the capacity of journalists in reporting migration issues with more accuracy, and promoting safe and orderly migration.
According to her, regardless of the circumstances surrounding irregular migration, “the rights and privacy of the migrants should be protected,”
She also advised them to make effective use of Information Communication Technology tools in disseminating information about irregular migrants.
“The social media serves as ‘Consumers’ Forum’, therefore, there is need to avoid sensational messages or engage in ‘rush to share’ just as you must source data or statistics from credible sources,” she said.
Also speaking, IOM Nigeria Project Officer, Awareness Raising, Cyprine Cheptepkeny emphasized the need to use proper terminologies in migration reporting.
She said, “this is an important element in shaping how members of the public understand the issues and how relevant agencies are tackling them. You are to ensure the protection of the rights of the migrants especially the vulnerable ones”.
The Project Officer urged the media to change the narratives of irregular migration by shaping the opinion the public, “inform members of the public of the added value of the migrants for the host country and share the benefits of an open policy on migration,”
In his contribution, IOM Project Assistant, Migration Management/Awareness Raising, Elijah Elaigwu tasked participants to avoid conflicting narratives on migration.
Earlier, the President, Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, Chris Iziguzo said media houses should give necessary attention to migration issues saying, “we have come to the reality that migration issues may not be receiving adequate attention from the media and when they does, adequate terminologies are not used. This training will fully equip you to understand what migration stories are all about”.