Calling it “an innovative method of awareness raising”, the UNHCR is teaming up with local artistes via a music video on a campaign it calls, Dangerous Crossings Campaign. This is to be a strategy to help curb the flow of migrants that are destined to Europe and the Gulf States via war-torn Yemen.
Funded by the European Union, the effort is to help disseminate vital information on the dangers of crossing to Yemen that is known to strive on the smuggling trade, which is widespread within the region.
While Ethiopia hosts more refugees than all the African nations combined, mostly from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan, the nation is also known to produce a good chunk of the migration flow in the world.
The multilingual video is to feature artists, which UNHCR sees to have “great credibility with the target audiences”. Included are Yeshie Demalash, Dawit Nega, Tadele Roba and Betty G and noted artists from Somalia and Egypt.
“I was at a refugee camp for Eritreans recently and I was disheartened with what I saw,” Betty G told The Reporter. “I visited young victims and some were almost eaten by crocodiles on the Tekeze River as they swam in their escape.”
The video yet to appear on social media and uses some of the testimonials on radio, TV, print media and billboards along with people who have attempted the journey as an attempt to stimulate discussions and challenge the popular narrative of the journey.
“The Dangerous Crossings campaign has a simple message to those who are planning to go to Yemen: You must get correct information before you decide to go,” UNHCR said in a statement. “Do not believe what the smugglers are telling you. Make an informed decision.”
Yemen has been at war since 2015 and is considered to be a humanitarian disaster area that is experiencing hunger, civil war and broken infrastructures.