No one is born a slave or master,
nor to live in misery,
but we are all born to be brothers
The number of Syrian refugees has significantly reduced in 2015 but, in the same year and in 2016, a significant number of migrant arrivals and international protection seekers, mostly from the Horn of Africa and West Africa.
From the beginning of 2017 to date, flows from West Africa have increased with a noticeable drop in migrant arrivals from the Horn of Africa.
Over the past 15 years, Italy has been increasingly concerned with the phenomenon of the arrival by sea from the coasts of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. These flows increased significantly in 2011, in conjunction with political changes in the aftermath of the so-called “Arab Spring”, in the countries of North Africa (especially in Tunisia and Libya) and with the intensification of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, reaching its highest level in 2004, when170,000 migrants arrived by sea, including more than 42,000 Syrians fleeing the war. The number of Syrian refugees arriving in Italy has fallen sharply in 2015, with the opening of the Balkan route, but in 2015 and 2016, there was a significant number of arrivals of migrants and those seeking international protection coming from Libya and originating from West African countries and the Horn of Africa. From the beginning of 2016 to present, in Italy there has been a significant increase in the number of migrants from West African countries and a sharp drop in the number of those arriving from the Horn of Africa.
The Central Mediterranean route remains an important route for asylum seekers, but is also an important route for those who are not necessarily refugees, but migrants who have moved to Libya for a variety of socioeconomic reasons.
Not finding safe living and working conditions, they are forced to attempt the sea crossing to reach safety in Europe; this is an irregular and dangerous migration managed by smugglers. From migrants’ stories, there emerges the image of a Libya in chaos, where violence and abuse are increasingly frequent and armed groups find human beings an extremely profitable source of moneythey are forced to continue their journey towards Europe.
In the world it is estimated that estimates that 51 per cent of total number of victims of trafficking in the world are women, while men account for 21 per cent and under-age victims 28 per cent. If the victims are women, exploitation is primarily sexual (in 72% of cases), followed by labour exploitation (in 20% of cases) and other forms of exploitation (in 8% of cases). Men are more affected by labour exploitation (85.7% of cases) than sexual exploitation (6.8% of cases) (IOM report-2017).
Paying attention to the phenomenon and its evolution, VIDES has taken over the cause of the victims of trafficking going to the genesis of the phenomenon, where the thrust to abandon the own country. We started from the “Human not slaves, Stop to the traffic of human beings” campaign, the extending this initiative to new countries of greatest outgoing flow: Mali and Nigeria.
Poverty, lack of political, social freedom, limited or no access to education, violence, wars are the main reasons of this phenomenon. However, there is another aspect to consider: in a context of extreme poverty, the poor themselves can decide to become merchants of human beings. Luring is relatively simple: countrymen go around the villages, telling stories about the possibility of winning a new life in other countries (in Europe), where they can find freedom for themselves and their children.
Thanks to the funds of the CEI Campaign "Free to leave, free to stay", VIDES aims to combat the hateful trafficking of human beings through an information and awareness raising campaign on the risks and dangers of the migratory journey to Europe.
Clear information has been provided in the local language through different channels: theatrical performances, traditional and media channels.
First steps in Mali
From the 1st of March, the personnel of the Diocese of Bamako, Mopti and Sikasso have been recruited and they have started to select and train the staff for the awareness campaign. Awareness campaign has started on June 1, 2018. TV spots have been produced and released since July 2018.
The material for the theatrical performances has been purchased; a theatrical animator and a shooting technician for the setting up of the shows in the villages have been recruited: 5 different shows on the issue of the risks of irregular immigration have to be represented in over 20 villages.
A dedicated website has been created, https://www.videsmalilibrecirculation.org/. It will give visibility to all project activities, through an accurate video and photographic documentation.
Dedicated Facebook page and Twitter profile are other popular channels that will encourage the access to information and the direct interaction between project promoters and beneficiaries.