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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 October 2005, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Musical aid for Zimbabwe migrants
Migrant destinations
Zimbabweans wishing to leave their country are the target of a new campaign by the International Organisation for Migration.

Some of Zimbabwe's best-known musicians are contributing to an album that forms part of a multi-media campaign, and are to perform at a concert on Thursday.

IOM hopes to make would-be migrants aware of the dangers of leaving the country without support.

At present, 2,000 Zimbabweans are sent home each week from South Africa alone.

The campaign, known as "Safe Journey", aims to reduce the risks of potential migrants and to inform citizens on HIV prevention and the dangers of irregular migration.

Increasing numbers of people have attempted to leave Zimbabwe in the wake of the government's Operation Murambatsvina, in which 700,000 people were affected by the destruction of homes and small businesses, according to the United Nations.

Risk

"We want people to think before they go," the IOM spokeswoman in Harare, Nicola Simmonds, told the BBC News website.

Oliver Mtukudzi
Oliver Mtukudzi is a critic of many government policies

"They have got to know before they go that they are taking a risk, and things could be worse on the other side."

Oliver Mtukudzi is among the musical stars supporting the campaign, which in addition to music will use television, film, radio, print, billboards, bumper stickers, and a website to get its message across.

The Zimbabwean government is also backing the initiative.

Fact of life

"The government has accepted that migration is a fact of life," Ms Simmonds said.

"Migration is a very normal procedure, and [the government] has accepted that it is happening more now than usual," she added.

"For reasons of regional relations they want to ensure that it is done as regularly as possible."

The IOM's Chief of Mission in Zimbabwe, Mr Mohammed Abdiker, said the campaign would reach out to vulnerable groups.

"With a special focus on mobile populations such as truck drivers, cross border traders, families and individuals in search of work, the Safe Journey campaign will give critical information on what documents are needed and how to avoid the grave dangers of irregular migration," he said.


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