A United Nations linked migration agency has come under fire after it was accused of “legitimising and incentivising” the illegal boat crossing of dozens of migrants.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which has been a related organisation of the United Nations since September 2016, tweeted an Easter video boldly proclaiming that migration was “inevitable, desirable and necessary”. But despite the Geneva-based group supposedly standing for “managed, orderly and safe” migration, Twitter users were quick to point out that their video featured a boat crammed dangerously full of economic migrants crossing the Mediterranean illegally towards Europe.
The video goes on to show the migrant boat disembarking having reached their Western destination before animated graphics tell the audience that they are “discriminated, forgotten, ignored, skilled, hopeful, successful and compassionate”.
An immediate backlash ensued with more than 1,000 people flooding the page with negative comments.
One Twitter user said “You are ABSOLUTELY encouraging migrants to make this journey! Your evil will be written in history as aiding the attempted destruction of the West. We will not let you succeed” while another carried on “Wrong you’re actively encouraging illegal immigration from economic migrants not refugees. Why is migration desirable and necessary? Change the record we’re all fed up hearing it…”
The IOM added fuel to the fire by engaging with people and maintaining that they had an “obligation to help” those who are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea but an Italian student again strongly rebuked them stating “Help those arriving in the Mediterranean means to legitimise illegal immigration and incentivise it. People come because they know they will be accepted in Italy. You are responsible for the deaths in the Mediterranean!”
The group, which has an annual budget of around $1.8bn and is in charge of EU-sponsored return and reintegration programmes, again defended itself and maintained that the video was not encouraging migrants to make illegal journeys.
“We are not encouraging migrants to embark on a deadly journey on the Mediterranean and we are actively working with the European Union to warn migrants about the risks of irregular migration/smuggling industry,” they claimed.
But many angry Twitter users were having none of it, calling them “traitors” and telling them “shame on you” and “you have to be dismantled”.
What do you think of the video and comments from IOM? Let us know in the comments below…
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