ANTONIO Guterres, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General says the body recognises the contributions of migrants across the world in the face of many struggles including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dec. 20, 2021
2 min read
UN lauds migrants for contributing to world development
UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres
- Migrants continue facing widespread stigmatisation, inequalities, xenophobia attacks, and racism
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, migrants have enriched societies everywhere
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This, he said on Saturday in his address during the International Migrants Day.
Mr Guterres said the migrants continue facing widespread stigmatisation, inequalities, xenophobia attacks, and racism, adding that migrant women and girls face heightened risk of gender-based violence and have fewer options to seek support.
He noted that with closed borders, many migrants are stranded without income or shelter, hence they are unable to return home to their families.
He said throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, migrants have enriched societies everywhere and are often on the frontlines of the pandemic response as scientists, health care professionals and essential workers.
He said the International Migration Review Forum next year will take stock of progress in implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
He noted that it is an opportunity to advance efforts to ensure the full inclusion of migrants as they seek to build more resilient, just and sustainable societies.
“I welcome the pledging campaign launched by the United Nations Migration Network to strengthen the Compact and encourage Member States and others to get involved,” he said.
He noted that solidarity with migrants has never been more urgent, adding that they need more effective international cooperation and a more compassionate approach to migration.
He said this means managing borders humanely, fully respecting the human rights and humanitarian needs of everyone, and ensuring that migrants are included in national COVID-19 vaccination plans.
“It means recognising the value of pathways for regular entry for both migrants and host countries. It also means addressing the underlying drivers behind migration, including deep inequalities, and combatting human smuggling and trafficking in people,” he said.
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He urged all to reaffirm their commitment to safe and dignified migration on the International Migrants Day.
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.
Approximately 281 million people were international migrants in 2020, representing 3.6 percent of the global population. LeNA