Migrant boat

President Adama Barrow has revealed that his government is working on a tough bill that will punish with a lengthy jail term people who transport Gambian youths to Europe through the perilous back-way

Barrow made the announcement on Sunday while addressing a rally in Brikama as he continued his nationwide meet-the-people tour. 

He said: “We are preparing a bill to punish anyone who is transporting our youths to Europe. My minister of justice is drafting the bill. We will not allow anyone to kill our youths through this dangerous route to Europe. Anyone found wanting will be imprisoned for life.”

The president’s comment came amid a surge in Gambian youths travelling to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea known locally as the backway. 

Dozens of young Gambian migrants have died embarking on this perilous route to Europe. 

Gambia is one of the poorest countries in Africa with limited resources to help its youthful population. The country’s economy is faltering amidst rising youth unemployment. 

Thousands of Gambian live below the World Bank’s poverty line and many families rely on remittances sent by relatives living abroad in   Europe, America and Asian countries for for their daily upkeep.

According to the Central Bank of the Gambia,$564.1 million have been sent as remittances from January to September 2023.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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