Spain to scare African migrants with video

Spain will try to scare off potential African migrants with television advertisements showing a young man apparently lying dead on some rocks and a mother grieving for her disappeared son.

Spain to scare African migrants with video
Spain will try to scare off potential African migrants with television advertisements showing a young man apparently lying dead on some rocks and a mother grieving for her disappeared son.

The Spanish government advertisements, which also feature Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, started showing on Senegalese television on Wednesday and are part of a six-week campaign including radio and newspapers, the Immigration Department said.

They are aimed at the thousands of Africans who risk journeys in open wooden boats for hundreds of kilometres to try to get to the Canary Islands in the hope of finding work in Europe.

More than 30,000 arrived last year, making illegal immigration one of Spain's biggest political issues in the summer of 2006. A large number are also believed to have drowned or died of thirst or exposure before they made it.

The advertisement shows a mother grieving for her son who went missing after trying to sail to Spain before cutting to the image of a young man's body lying face down on some rocks.

'He's gone. We haven't heard anything. Here I am, sick,' says the woman, before the video concludes with N'Dour, saying in the local Wolof language: 'Thousands have died. Don't risk your life for nothing. You are the future of Africa.'

Tougher policing, including European naval patrols, and a repatriation campaign have cut arrivals in the Canary Islands this year by two-thirds.

Spain's Socialist government has encouraged legal migration, and foreigners now make up about a tenth of the population here. But it says an amnesty for about 600,000 illegal migrants in 2005 will not be repeated.


Reuters
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2007, 16:00
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