The Italian government has launched an awareness campaign aimed at would-be migrants considering travelling from Africa to Europe.
The drive consists of radio and TV messages, a short film, a website in English, French and Arabic, and a song “Aware brother, aware sister” sung by Malian singer Rokia Traoré.
“The problem of migration cannot be solved with a single method,” Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told reporters. “Today we are launching a new method, a communication campaign with a very clear meaning. You, migrant who are looking for a dream; you migrant who go after your dream, you run the serious risk of ending up in a nightmare.”
Alfano said migrants fleeing war or persecution are not likely to be discouraged by adverse weather or other difficulties.
“Mainly in the central Mediterranean route, we face the cases of those who do not flee war or persecution, but of those who seek freedom, democracy, welfare, looking for a better world, and chasing their dream meet a nightmare.”
“The nightmare is a rape suffered by a woman and viewed by her husband. The nightmare is a rape suffered by a woman and also perceived by the baby traveling with them. The nightmare is an unwanted pregnancy, the result of that sexual violence. The nightmare is passing from tribe to tribe through the desert and the Horn of Africa. The nightmare is the risk of dying at sea. The nightmare is seeing a person that you love die beside you. Do they know all this before they leave? By no means,” added Alfano.
The campaign targets countries in sub-Saharan Africa and those living in the north of the continent.
Some 80 migrants tell their stories on the website. There is also a Twitter channel and Facebook page.