Awareness campaign in Africa against illegal migration

Press Release, SEM, 28.11.2007

Berne. The Federal Office for Migration has been conducting an awareness campaign among the people in Cameroon and Nigeria to inform them about the negative consequences of illegal migration. The European Union has joined the federal office in this pilot project.

There is hardly anybody who has not seen pictures showing overcrowded vessels and people jettisoned into the sea by ruthless migrant smugglers, pictures of ships capsized, of people brought out of the water dead. For want of an economic perspective, people from Africa head to European countries such as Switzerland in search of a better life.

These people often cherish expectations of a prosperous future abroad-expectations doomed to disappointment because the everyday life of illegal immigrants inevitably falls short of their hopes.

Pointing out the risks and negative consequences of illegal migration, the Federal Office for Migration in early 2006 launched an awareness campaign in Nigeria and Cameroon. The information events have met with interest, especially on the local level. The European Union has meanwhile joined the Swiss campaign in these two countries.

The Federal Office for Migration conducts information campaigns in countries whose people, faced with an unstable economy, are most tempted to leave and become illegal migrants. These campaigns address those people who might consider leaving a country not for reasons making them eligible for asylum, but for economic reasons. Relief organizations commend the Swiss approach to prevent illegal migration. Backed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Federal Office for Migration has a reliable partner of worldwide renown. The IOM has had agencies in many countries for years and is represented institutionally worldwide.

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Contact / questions

Jonas Montani Federal Office for Migration
+41 58 465 78 44

Jean-Philippe Chauzy,
International Organisation of Migration

T + 41 79 285 43 66