The Migrant Project (TMP) has urged the media to desist from stigmatising returnees through sensational reports but to humanise the experiences of returnees.
In a media toolkit to curb returnee stigma issued by Enitan Ibironke, Migration Advocacy Consultant and Media Liaison Officer for TMP, TMP outlined different ways in which the media can support the seamless integration of returnees into their communities.
The toolkit highlighted that the media should “avoid using stereotypical, negative expressions about returnees as this can create or increase stigma. Avoid sensational stories about deportation and focus on humanising the experiences of returnees.
“Highlight the positive contributions that returning migrants make to Nigeria, for example, by showcasing examples of returnees who have started their businesses; Shape public perceptions and knowledge about returnees by providing facts and balanced information.
“Advocate for better reintegration and psychosocial support for returnees.”
TMP also noted that returnees should be encouraged to sign up for The Migrant Project’s free and confidential counselling service for emotional support to returning migrants to help them cope with migration stressors.
The Migrant Project works with returnees and communities to reduce the stigma toward Nigerian migrants returning forcibly or voluntarily from Europe.