Spain to advertise to put off immigrants
18 September 2007, MADRID - AFP - The Spanish government said Tuesday it would launch an advertising campaign in Senegal designed to encourage would-be immigrants to stay put and not make the hazardous trip to Spain.
18 September 2007
MADRID - AFP - The Spanish government said Tuesday it would launch an advertising campaign in Senegal designed to encourage would-be immigrants to stay put and not make the hazardous trip to Spain.
"We want to send out a clear message: Clandestine immigration only puts your own life at risk. It's pointless and should be rejected by Spaniards and Senegalese alike," immigration secretary Consuelo Rumi said.
The advertising spots in newspapers and on radio and television will tell would-be immigrants seeking to reach Spain: "Don't take a risk for nothing. You are part of Africa's future."
Senegalese singer Youssou N'dour is backing the campaign to dissuade youngsters from risking all on a dangerous 1,000-kilometre (660 miles) trip to Spain's Canary Islands.
Thousands have made it to the islands in recent years, but an unknown number have perished en route and this year the Spanish government has been repatriating many of those who did reach shore.
The million-euro (1.3 million dollars) advertising campaign features excerpts of the stories of three Senegalese whose relatives were lost at sea: a sick mother, an elderly father and a young footballer who all lost relatives or friends.
The Spanish government is to appraise the effect of the six-week campaign before deciding whether to extend it to other African countries.
More than 80 percent of those making it to Spanish soil transit Senegal, while last year, more than 31,200 immigrants made it to the Canaries, swamping local authorities on the archipelago.
Stepped-up maritime security patrols have brought the arrivals' figure down to 6,700 since last January.
[Copyright AFP with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news