The International Migrants Day is observed every year on 18th of December, and it is an opportunity to recognise the contributions made by millions of immigrants to the development and well-being of many countries in the world. After having taken into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, the commemoration of this day aims to promotes respect for the rights of immigrant workers and their families, and highlights the issues that are of the key interest to migrants and their communities.
A broad range of factors continue to determine the movement of people. They are either voluntary or forced movements as a result of the increased magnitude and frequency of disasters, economic challenges, and extreme poverty or conflict. This new era has created challenges and opportunities for societies throughout the world. 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.
Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Approximately 281 million people were international migrants in 2020, representing 3.6 percent of the global population. Hence, the 2021 theme for the International Migrants Day is ‘Harnessing the potential of human mobility’ and it underscores 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.
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 also aim to help the communities to fulfil their responsibility by assisting them in securing their mobility because migrants are more likely to be subject to hardship, human rights violations, and discrimination in crisis situations. We would like to utilise this day to create platforms for dialogues and interactions within countries and regions, as well as propel experience exchange and collaboration opportunities.
Therefore, 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.