There are some 258 million migrants worldwide. Many are seeking new opportunities for work or education. Others are on the move because they have no choice but to flee war and persecution or to escape the vicious circles of poverty, food insecurity, and environmental degradation. Evidence overwhelmingly shows that migrants generate economic, social, and cultural benefits for all societies. Unfortunately, with the rise of broader intolerant discourse, hostility towards migrants is growing around the world.
Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Today, globalisation, together with advances in communications and transportation, has greatly increased the number of people, who have the desire and the capacity to move to other places. This new era has created challenges and opportunities for societies throughout the world. It also has served to underscore the clear linkage between migration and development, as well as the opportunities it provides for co-development, that is, the concerted improvement of economic and social conditions at both origin and destination.
Migration draws increasing attention in the world nowadays. Mixed with elements of unforeseeability, emergency, and complexity, the challenges and difficulties of international migration require enhanced cooperation and collective action among countries and regions. The United Nations is actively playing a catalyst role in this area, with the aim of creating more dialogues and interactions within countries and regions, as well as propelling experience exchange and collaboration opportunities.
International Migrants Day is an international day observed on the 18th of December which was appointed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 4th 2000, after having taken into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world. This day is an opportunity to recognise the contributions made by millions of immigrants to the development and well-being of many countries in the world, to promote respect for the rights of immigrant workers and their families, and to highlight the issues that are of the key interest to migrants and their communities.
To mark this year’s International Migrants Day, the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) is calling on the global community and youth to come together and remember the importance of protecting human rights and welfare of all refugees and migrants worldwide. We would like to utilise this day to call upon global respect for those refugees who have tragically lost their lives or lives of those that they love. Our aim is to help the communities to fulfil their responsibility to assist and secure well mobile population because migrants are more likely to be subject to hardship, human rights violations and discrimination in crisis situations.
Therefore we must dignify those choices by paying them respect, and we respect them by treating those who make such choices with dignity. As we celebrate this day, our call is for migration to be safe, regular and dignified for all.