Check negative issues of migration

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Ghana has announced that there are 476,400 migrants in the country with more than one million Ghanaians living abroad.

Even though the numbers form part of the issues of migration, others like the push factors, conditions in the host countries and the attitude of the migrants outweigh them.

Some people are pushed out of their countries by economic, education, career and political factors.

While the push factors motivate or compel people to leave their home countries, eventually a good number of the migrants bring some benefits to both the home and host countries.

For instance, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognised sources, remittance inflows to Ghana in 2020 was 4.9267 per cent to Gross Domestic Product.

Besides, World Bank staff estimates based on IMF balance of payments data for 2020 indicate that personal remittances that flowed into the country that year totalled US$4,291,956.80.

These apart, there are always non-financial remittances too such as vehicles, dresses and food items.

There are conventions and protocols that protect migrants such as the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families meant to guarantee dignity and equality in the face of globalisation; International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; AU Treaties, Conventions, Protocols and Charters; and the 1951 Refugee Convention.

 The protection of migrants, including refugees, is important because they are deemed to be engines for social development in both their host and mother countries.

In spite of the benefits of migration, there are certain negative issues associated with it that call for serious attention.

For this, it is important to consider the assertion by IOM that there is the need for alliance and robust measures to help leverage the positive sides of migration and limit its adverse impacts.

The Ghanaian Times agrees with the IOM that Ghana is faced with a dynamic migration context due to its location within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a place described as a region of hyper-migration.

Ghana has become a country of transit and destination for migrants, particularly those from other ECOWAS countries, due to its political stability and relatively better avenues of opportunities for individual socio-economic progress.

However, the problem the country has is that citizens from its neighbouring countries do not respect its laws.

It is sad to read or hear in the media that these people are involved in such crimes as human trafficking, armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, smuggling and prostitution.

Others flout protocols on work and get involved in economic areas reserved for the citizens such as retail trade and attempts by the citizens to stop that sometimes lead to violence.

One positive side of migration is that the migrants should bring some skills that can benefit the host country.

However, in Ghana, we find some of these migrants soliciting alms all over the place.

Meanwhile, the Beggars and Destitutes Act, 1969 (NLCD 392) makes the act an offence and worse so when children are used as that is prohibited by the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560).

Besides, it is irritating seeing some migrants openly engaging in the black market.

Worse of it all is that some even dabble in politics in the country, particularly by voting in national elections, and parties such acts favour seem not to see anything wrong with them.

That situation can bring the country some doom if it is not checked now.

It is time, therefore to check the negative issues of migration before they become deep-rooted and deemed normal to make them difficult to address.

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