A walk to Europe: Lack of opportunities driving Ghanaians to death - BBC’s Joel Gunter
The story of a rural Ghanaian boy, Azeteng, who secretly filmed the harrowing experience of persons who travelled to Europe by foot for greener pastures will air today on the BBC.
Speaking ahead of the premiere, Joel Gunter, the producer of the documentary,Secret Spectacles, said most Ghanaians undertake the perilous journey due to lack of opportunities and the misappropriation of aid money by those in authority.
‘The Secret Spectacles’ is the story of an oriental Ghanaian, not a journalist but one passionately driven by human-centered stories on the radio.
Struck by sordid reports of death and ills that afflict those who make the journey on foot to Europe through the desert, Azeteng procured a spectacle, a secret recording device and set out to gather evidence on the situation.
The amateur ‘journalist’, who was independent in his efforts, only informed his father and his priest about his intention.
“It was a reckless decision,” Joel Gunter remarked on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday.
“He is a very singular minded purpose person, obsessive about things and driven to help. It was his personal savings which afforded him a secret filming device which enable him to gather the evidence,” Gunter added.
Azeteng saw death, he saw sex trade, and he saw drug abuse and nearly experienced everything those who undertake the arduous journey go through but was only lucky to be alive.
“The journey to Libya is under-reported: sex, slavery, drugs, violence, many are barely paid, unfed.
“These horrors have been told without much evidence. But here was a migrant spy, he served as a credible witness and was himself a victim,” Gunter said in reference to Azeteng.
Gunter is confident that the prosecutions which have been meted out to criminals identified in the secret recordings by both Ghanaian and British authorities will go a long way to serve as a deterrent against the menace in the future.
Even more, Gunter is hopeful the information gathered from the secret recording has exposed the modus operandi of the criminals.
These will serve as a guide for governments and security agencies on strategy, planning and policy implementations.
He has called for governments to work to eliminate the push factors that lead people to embark on the journey and the desert routes must be effectively policed to limit the evils being perpetrated by human traffickers.