Collaboration between ILO and Elizade University seeks to Improve Media Reporting on Labour Migration in Nigeria

Through the FAIRWAY Programme in Nigeria, ILO is improving the quality of teaching labour migration related topics for students of Mass Communication and Journalism.

News | 19 May 2023
In March 2023, The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Elizade University commenced a collaboration aimed at improving labour migration reporting in Nigeria. The collaboration was designed to include a training needs assessment (TNA), and a capacity building component through a workshop that addresses knowledge gaps in the academia, particularly in Southwest Nigeria on reporting labour migration.

Hinged on feedback in the TNA report, a training workshop was convened by Elizade University on Tuesday, 25th April 2023. The workshop provided participants with skills and most recent information on reporting labour migration from the global perspective, including through training participants on the use and application of ILO’s Media Toolkit for reporting forced labour and fair recruitment.

This engagement is being piloted in South-West Nigeria, targeting representatives from 21 Nigerian Universities, including Professors and Lecturers of Journalism, Media, and Communication.

The TNA tested the hypothesis of migration being a significant area of interest in the academia, including Mass Communication departments of select tertiary institutions in the region, and gauged respondents’ willingness to participate in a curriculum review and development focusing on labour migration.

Results from the TNA presents an 84% interest by instructors in Mass Communication departments in the region towards developing a curriculum on labour migration, and leverages tools and guidance developed by the ILO as useful resource that can be incorporated into the curriculum of higher education institutions in Nigeria.

Welcome remarks by the Vice Chancellor, Elizade University, Prof. Olukayode Amund, emphasised how migration permeated all academic disciplines concentrated within the University. Prof. Amund mentioned that Universities are positioned to create knowledge and disseminate this to their students, cardinal to improving reporting labour migration. The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Social, and Management Sciences, Prof. Joseph Fabayo, underscored the importance of this collaboration with the ILO, in which Elizade University, served as an interface with universities across the region to reach a wide range of beneficiaries.

In her goodwill message, Ms, Vanessa Phala, Director of the ILO Abuja Country Office appreciated the Vice Chancellor, management, and staff of the university for the collaboration between both institutions, noting that the academia remains an important stakeholder that supports generating evidence for policy and behavioural change.

Represented by Austin Erameh who is the National Programme Coordinator of the FAIRWAY Programme in Nigeria, Ms. Phala further encouraged the university to take into consideration the need for ensuring sustainability of ILO’s work in the area of reporting labour migration, particularly through integrating provisions of nationally and internationally recognized relevant labour and human rights standards.    

Participants discussed the best approach to introduce media reporting on labour migration to participating universities’ curricula. A few teaching initiatives proposed included the use of studio practice time (Obafemi Awolowo University and Afe Babalola University) and student independent reporting practices (Bowen University) among many useful contributions.

A significant outcome of the collaboration includes the formation of an Academic Community of Practice (ACoP), made up of Professors, Heads of Departments and Units, and Lecturers interested in knowledge creation, exchange, and dissemination on improving reporting labour migration in Nigeria.

The ILO Global Media Toolkit for reporting on Forced Labour and Fair Recruitment was launched in 2020. This toolkit is a useful resource for journalists and media practitioners that serves as a guide to report accurately and effectively on forced labour and fair recruitment matters. Within the framework of the FAIRWAY Programme, the toolkit has been successfully contextualised and adapted for use in Nigeria in 2021.

Going forward, it is envisaged that the established Academic Community of Practice will contribute to sustaining ILO’s work relating to reporting labour migration, as well as use of the media toolkit in Nigeria. The collaboration revealed that extending the ACoP engagement to other academic communities in Africa and beyond will be useful to sustaining reporting migration related news and stories across the continent.