The last two General Assemblies of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) identified Migration and Human trafficking as an area where African people's dignity is trampled on a lot. The theme of the Jubilee Assembly was: "God of Life, lead Africa to Peace, Justice, and Dignity" and that of the 11th Assembly was: "Respecting the dignity and God's image in every human being". Consequently, the AACC Secretariat set a separate programme to tackle the issue.
Migration is a right, as a manifestation of freedom of movement guaranteed by the international legal instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent documents. Unfortunately, due to many factors, including bad governance, unemployment, conflicts, etc. plaguing mainly developing countries, the tendency for people to migrate to other places is on the rise. Several developed countries, which have experienced a flux of migrants have become more demanding on the conditions to travel to their countries and are putting more barriers to reduce the flux. This, in turn, is fueling parallel illegal networks, which make promises to people and take them through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Unfortunately, many people never reach their destinations. Some land in detention centers in countries like Libya, most suffer torture and rape, some are killed and their organs removed and sold out, etc. Even in Africa, migration between countries is difficult, due to many constraints.
Recruiters mostly target poor families, with many children, the majority of whom have not managed to go far in their studies or secure a job. They also target people who are ambitious and ready for greener pastures. At destination points, traffickers retrieve their victims' documents and don't allow them to have interaction with other people, without supervision.
The programme at AACC seeks to facilitate, strengthen and support the church in:
Creating awareness among members on the risks of irregular migration and to be cautious about promises made to them by random people.
Advocacy towards the governments, so that they address the root causes of the problem, which are bad governance, poverty, lack of employment, etc.
Promote an Africa of Hope.
The Programme at the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) is led by Ms. Afiwa Allahare. Afiwa Allahare is a Togolese citizen who joined AACC through the Regional Office in Lome, Togo, in September 2007.