Who is a Migrant?

Photo of Migrants at Jibya border Katsina state © Mohammed Ahmed/ Nigerian Immigrations service 2019.

 A migrant is a person who moves from his/her place of usual residence within a Country or across International Borders temporarily or permanently. Technically speaking, the term applies to you and me.

Why do people Migrate?

People migrate for a plethora of reasons, you must agree, given you have migrated for a reason or two in the past. The fact remains, that people will continue to migrate for economic, socio-political, and religious reasons, and it will be an abuse of their migrants’ rights to stop them.

What are Migrants’ Rights?

Migrants’ rights are human rights because everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the Borders of any Country and the rights to leave any Country including his/her own and to return to his/her Country. Militating against the exercise of these rights would be migrants’ rights abuse.


What are the Different Shades of Migrants’ Rights abuse?

Photos of Nigerian migrants being held in detention and tortured in Libya. © Moayad Zaghdani/ IOM 2020.

Listening to migrants tell tales of their ordeals across foreign Borders, has attracted sympathy, which has developed into empathy to take a stand against, unlawful detention, extortion, and all other forms of physical emotional, and psychological abuses. It’s no longer news that migrants face dehumanizing and life-threatening predicaments at foreign Borders, the Nigerian situation in Libya was just one example of migrants’ rights abuse.

What are the Drivers of Migrants’ Rights Abuse?

To address the problem, we must isolate the culprit, which includes;

  • Ignorance of Migrants’ rights
  • Poor technical and operational capacity
  • Corruption
  • Inter-agency rivalries and red-tapism
  • Poor technological application, working conditions, and incentives.
  • Poor oversight and ethical operational deficiencies.

Present Interventions to Prevent the Abuse of Migrants’ rights.

The European Union and other International development Organizations are working tirelessly to curb irregular migration and to protect the rights of migrants; part of the EU intervention is ‘The EU-IOM Initiative for Migrants’ Protection and Reintegration in Nigeria to supports the Capacity Building of Border Operatives for Migrants’ Protection (CABBOMP).

AYGF is currently engaged by International Organization for Migration (IOM) to  implement this project in three major Borders across Nigeria, which includes; Seme Border ( Lagos State), Mfum Border (Cross River State,) and Jibya Border ( Katsina State), with one goal in mind, which is to protect migrants, the objectives of this project are highlighted as follows;


  • Enhance knowledge and understanding of Border operatives on issues.
  • Raise consciousness of border operatives on the need to operate within the existing national, regional, and international protocol on protection of Migrants
  • Facilitation of operational efficiency and inter-agency cooperation at the Borders.
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of compliance by Border operatives.
  • Improved Migrant Protection and human rights conditions in Seme Border (Lagos State), Jibya Border (Katsina State), and Mfum Border (Cross River State).

Photo from (CABBOMP) press conference © Sakeenah  Ahmed/ AYGF


Knowing that we are all migrants is enough reason to support projects and initiatives that have been put in place to protect us when we carry that status across an International Borders.

Find out more about (CABBOMP) at www.aygf.org or send an e-mail to info@aygf.org. You can also follow updates, support with comments, and petitions through the organization’s social media handles.


Abba Abba