“We have seen that a lack of information or false information is one of the main problems that leads to illegal migration,” SEM spokesman Lukas Rieder said.
“Human traffickers tell potential migrants that Switzerland is paradise, it’s El Dorado. 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,” Rieder added.
The series, called Missing Steps, tells the story of a university-educated protagonist, who gets into debt and travels to Switzerland with the help of traffickers to solve his financial problems but he is denied asylum and deported to his country.
“He pays a high price,” Okafor said in an interview.
“Television globally is a very powerful medium, because it has the capacity to reach a vast mass – a critical mass of people… even hundreds of millions of viewers,” said Okafor.
On the one hand, asylum is genuinely hard to obtain in Switzerland. Last year over 27,000 people applied, with less than 1,300 cases processed. A total of 4.1 percent of all applicants were Nigerians. Only three people were granted asylum and six others received temporary admission.
Amnesty International says that Switzerland, which signed a migration regulation agreement with Nigeria in 2011, should strive to reduce the incentive for asylum seekers to come, as opposed to dealing with them once they cross its borders.
“Switzerland should work to improve the human rights situation and the allocation of resources in Nigeria. They are fundamental aspects if we want people to have the opportunity to stay in their own country,” the NGO’s Denise Graf told Swissinfo.
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