Swiss fund Nollywood series to keep African migrants out
The Swiss government is funding a Nigerian television series to scare off potential African migrants from coming to Switzerland.
Published: February 25, 2017, 10:38 am
The Nollywood series avoids the traditional tourist lures, friendly faces featuring with sunny landscapes, snow-capped mountains, lakes and outdoor cafés, Swiss news agencies reported on Monday.
Called Missing Steps, the series containing 13 episodes is being filmed both in Nigeria and Switzerland by a Nigerian film crew and carries a hefty $450,000 price tag.
A young Nigerian, denied asylum by Swiss authorities and now living in Switzerland illegally, is the protagonist of the Swiss-Nigerian co-production. It was made as part of the migration partnership signed by the two countries in 2011 to aid the return of Nigerians to their home country.
The story follows “Joshua” who comes to Switzerland and discovers that life isn’t as good as he thought it would be. Living in Switzerland is in fact a daily battle.
“We want to provide objective information on migration, showing that the crossing [of the Mediterranean] is dangerous and that the chances of Nigerians being granted asylum are low. We also intend to explain that life for illegal immigrants in Switzerland is not easy,” said Lukas Rieder, spokesman for the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), which funded the project.
“We have seen that a lack of information or false information is one of the main problems that leads to illegal migration,” he added.
“Human traffickers tell potential migrants that Switzerland is paradise, it’s Eldorado. But that’s not true. We want to provide objective information about the dangers of passage, and the dangers of living in Switzerland without a permit, for example”.
Amnesty International criticised the campaign. “Clearly migrants should be informed correctly on Swiss law and asylum process,” the organisation’s Denise Graf told swissinfo.ch.
“But first of all Switzerland should work to improve the human rights situation and the allocation of resources in Nigeria.”
In 2016, 27 207 asylum applications were lodged in Switzerland. Of these, 1 106 came from Nigerian citizens (4.1 percent). The same year, only three people received asylum and six were granted temporary admission (of 1 261 cases examined).
This is not the first attempt by the Swiss to keep Africans out of the Confederation. In 2007, Switzerland funded a two-minute advert in several African countries such as Cameroon and Nigeria to dissuade potential travellers from attempting the journey.
The hard-hitting advert, which aired on prime-time television in both West African countries, depicts the life of newly arrived migrants in Europe as one fraught with unhappiness, hostility and danger.
In the short film an African migrant phones his father from an unspecified location in Europe in the pouring rain and assures him that all is well while in reality he is living on the street, being chased by the police and having to beg for a living.
Switzerland is also not the only country to fund similar campaigns, with Germany, Italy and Australia producing videos with negative messages aimed at migrants.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
Law enforcement chiefs in Britain are struggling to find enough specialist detectives with three-quarters of stations admitting that they cannot fill vacancies because of the rate at which experienced officers are quitting the force.
In the fight against networks of human traffickers in the English Channel, the president of the Regional Council of Hauts-de-France has pleaded for stronger cooperation between France and Britain to end illegal immigration.
A profitable black market in smartphones is encouraging the theft of mobile phones in the coastal city of Barcelona.
Germany supposedly needs 260 000 immigrants each year, a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation has recently found. But the findings have drawn much criticism and incomprehension.
BerlinMigrant inmates in German prisons have skyrocketed, a new survey of the Justice Ministries in in Germany's 16 federal states show.
BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced a family protection plan in his state-of-the nation address in Budapest on Sunday.
ParisDuring the clashes that took place in front of the National Assembly in Paris over the weekend between police and Yellow Vests, a protester lost his hand. Tensions rose a notch in Paris on Saturday, February 9 on the occasion of Act XIII of the protest movement.
LondonIn Britain, an eight-year-old Muslim boy was questioned by two counter-terrorism police officers and a social worker at a school in east London because he had become so radicalized.
French border officials have been accused of forgery in order to send young migrants back to Italy.
HamburgIn Hamburg-Schnelsen, Germany, a young man, 22, was stabbed on Saturday evening shortly after 6pm by a "Southerner" in the cashier area of IKEA.