Skip to Content

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

    Read more

    Bern

    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.

    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 violation​s​ 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 del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    UK: Another 30 Muslim men charged with rape and trafficking

    Police have charged 31 Muslim men with offences including rape and trafficking after an investigation into sexual offences against children in the Huddersfield area.

    Is a Swexit on the cards for Sweden?

    StockholmThe leader of the Swedish Democrats, Jimmy Åkesson has again called for a referendum on Sweden's exit from the EU.

    Masked gangs go on a rampage in Sweden

    Swedish police reported multiple gangs of masked youths on a rampage across five major Swedish towns, burning cars in what seems like a coordinated action.

    Spat between Italy and UK intensifies over migrant taxi

    The diplomatic spat between Italy and Britain over 141 migrants currently on board a Gibraltar-flagged vessel has taken a new turn after Italy demanded that Britain take in the migrants.

    PVV member tells of gang rape by Muslims to silence her before suicide

    The HagueA city councillor in The Hague and member of Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, took her own life on Wednesday after posting a video on Facebook describing her gang-rape by Muslims.

    No Christians from Syria resettled by Britain

    The British Government recently appointed its first Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief. But the Special Envoy has done very little for Christians.

    Spain opens its borders even wider

    MadridSpain's socialist government, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, has promised free healthcare to migrants and has pledged to investigate every asylum claim individually.

    Neocon US senators push sanctions bill ‘from hell’ against Russia

    WashingtonA US bill was introduced in the Senate on Thursday, widely described as a new set of "crushing" sanctions against Russia. The proposed legislation includes a State Department assessment aimed at designating Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism".

    Banner against illegals end in ‘hate speech’ charges

    LyonA banner displayed during a pro-migrant march in Lyon resulted in the convocation to the police station of three participants including a prominent conservative politician of Marine Le Pen's party, Muriel Coativy.

    Three arrested in France on charges of ‘conspiring to fight Islamist danger’

    ParisTwo men and one woman were indicted on Friday, July 27, for "terrorist criminal conspiracy" as part of the investigation into the activities of the French AFO group. They are believed to have wanted to fight "against the Islamist danger".

    Go to archive