“On this International Migrants Day, let us seize the opportunity of the recovery from the pandemic to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, reimagine human mobility, enable migrants to reignite economies at home and abroad and build more inclusive and resilient societies.” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
The International Migrants Day is 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.
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. Millions of migrants are stranded, often without income or shelter, unable to return home due to COVID-19 mobility restrictions, and they also face increased risks of trafficking and exploitation.
The 2020 theme for this day is “Reimagining Human Mobility”. The pandemic cannot be used as an excuse to rollback commitments to promote and protect the rights of migrants regardless of their legal status. It cannot become an excuse for the increased use of detention, often in overcrowded conditions, and the forced return of migrants to their countries of origin without due process, in many cases in violation of international law.
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 migrants worldwide. We would like to utilise this day to create more dialogues and interactions within countries and regions, as well as propel experience exchange and collaboration opportunities.
We also aim to help the communities to fulfil their responsibility in order to assist and secure well mobile population because migrants that 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.
Migration should be a choice, not a necessity. On #MigrantsDay, let us reaffirm our commitment to safe and lawful migration for all.