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Migration must not be criminalized

-LIS official recommends

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Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) Deputy Commissioner for Administration Moses K. Yebleh has recommended that while security can be a legitimate concern and invoked as a justification for limitations to certain human rights, it cannot lead to the criminalization of migration, or of those who support migrants.

Speaking Wednesday, 18 December at the Monrovia City Hall during the observance of the United Nations Migrants Day held under the theme: “Social Inclusion,” Commissioner Yebleh says migration violation across the world must not be criminalized as it has been done.
According to him, this is especially true for migrants in the most vulnerable situations, including those who are undocumented and irregular.

The LIS authority adds that the protection of everyone’s human rights should remain the main objective of all public policies.He observes that security concerns are being wrongly used to criminalize migrants and people trying to support them.

“At a crucial moment when migration policies are being reviewed in many regions and countries, it is vital that security concerns do not override the human rights of migrants,” Commissioner Yebleh continues.

Further, Commissioner Yebleh notes that “we” need to see full international cooperation, including States working with their regional neighbors, as he recommends the need to also see strong action within countries.

Also speaking at the program, Mr. Anthony V. Kesselly who is the Public Policy Advisor in the office of the Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, says the vice president would have loved to grace the occasion, but was busy with other pressing engagements.
Mr. Kesselly says the vice president acknowledges the immense work being done by the International Organization on Migration (IOM), saying this hard work fosters not only the essence of social inclusion but it borders on life saving and restoration of hope of migrants, and rights of migrants.

The quest for greener pasture from the harsh condition of hope has sent scores of Liberians into terrible experiences out of which the IMO has helped in coming to their rescue, Mr. Kessely says.He adds that the role of the IOM, and other Good Samaritans played in the strive for restoration and renewal is well recorded in Liberia’s history books.

He continues that it is in view of this that the IOM has the gratitude and admiration of this government for the incredible volume, and the scope of humanitarian work it does at such a sustained level.
“We have seen support and re-enforcement of national efforts of IOM’s massive repatriation of huge numbers of Liberians from Libya, and other North African countries,” Mr. Kesselly notes.
Meanwhile, Mr. Momolu N. Freeman, the Durable Solution and Livelihood Officer at the Liberia Refuge Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) extols the IOM for the level of work it is doing in helping migrants settle back with their families.
He says it is known that everyone wants to live a better life, but there should be ways to do such.
Mr. Freeman cautions that if people want to travel to other developing countries, they must make sure to get all the necessary documents to avoid illegal travelling which harms them.
It can be recalled that On 18 December 1990, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Each year on Dec 18, the United Nations, through the UN-related agency International Organization for Migration, uses International Migrants Day to highlight the contributions made by the roughly 272 million migrants, including more than 41 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the challenges they face.
The celebration brought together officials of government from line ministries and agencies including LIS, LRRRC, and members of the diplomatic corps, among others.By Lewis S. Teh—Edited by Winston W. Parley

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