Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The federal government has canvassed balanced and informed media coverage of labour migration.
It said that to achieve balanced and informed reportage on labour migration, media practitioners needed to equip themselves with the relevant background information on it, which include international and national legal framework, as well as the national policy on Labour Migration, and their recognition of fundamental human rights.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Yerima Tarfa, stated this at a workshop organised for Labour correspondents on “Effective Coverage of Labour Migration” in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Permanent Secretary, represented by Director, Reform Coordination and Service Improvement, Mr. John O. Magbadelo, said that informed and responsible reportage would effectively eliminate the public misperception and misconception of labour migration by striking the necessary balance between its benefits and disadvantages.
Tarfa stated that the objective of the workshop was to expand the capacity of media practitioners in their knowledge of both the ILO Conventions and national policies on labour migration, which would aid them in achieving fair and balanced reportage.
He added that: “such reportage would contribute to the elimination of public misconception against migrant workers, while highlighting their positive contributions both to the migrant worker and to the society, when labour migration is well-governed and practised.”
Tarfa noted that responsible, fair, and ethical reportage would also serve to discourage prejudice, intolerance and stigmatization against migrant workers and their families, as well as unfair recruitment and dehumanisation of migrant workers.
“Poor reportage has the potentials of triggering off negative public perceptions of labour migration and creating discontent, whilst balanced and fair reportage will bring about positive perception from the same public.
“Positive reportage will further help to stem the usual conflict between local labour and migrant labour.”
He also pointed out that responsible and balanced reportage would counter the negative narrations on labour migration by highlighting its contributions to the socio-economic development of the places of origin and destination of migrant workers.
He, however, stated that media coverage of labour migration should not overlook abuses, exploitation, violation of human and labour rights, and other negativities in the migrant Labour market, as well as the dangers and risks of irregular, unsafe and badly-governed labour migration.
On his part, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations Unit of the Ministry, Charles Akpan, said that the workshop was designed to equip the journalists with the necessary tools to help them achieve the intended objective of responsible reportage of labour migration within the ambit of best global practices.