#UNHCR; #Ethiopia; #EthiopiaRefugeeResponsePlan; #HumanitarianAid
UNHCR, Jan 26 (Canadian-Media): UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and partners are appealing for robust international support for refugee operations in Ethiopia with the launch of a funding appeal for US$658 million to assist over 735,000 refugees and more than half a million Ethiopian hosts in 2020, UNHCR news release said on Jan 24.
A South Sudanese boy stands at the blackboard at a primary school in Jewi refugee camp, Ethiopia. Image credit: © UNHCR/Eduardo Soteras Jalil
International support and solidarity is vital to ensure the implementation of the wide range of rights granted to refugees by Ethiopia during the last three years. The country’s revised laws grant refugees the right to work and access social services, facilitating their inclusion among the communities where they live in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopia Refugee Response Plan, launched in Addis Ababa this morning, covers humanitarian activities by UNHCR and 57 other humanitarian partners. It seeks to address huge gaps in health and nutrition, education, and shelter while also investing in sectors including sanitation, energy and livelihoods.
In January last year Ethiopia adopted progressive laws, which allow refugees to obtain work permits, access primary education and obtain drivers’ licenses. Additionally, they enable refugees to register essential events such as births and gain access to national financial services, such as banking.
Resources are needed to expand existing social services infrastructure in health, education, water and sanitation, environmental protection, social protection and employment as part of the broad refugee response.
Ethiopia has a long history of hosting refugees and asylum seekers. It is currently hosting more than 735,000 from 26 nationalities, the majority from South Sudan (329,123), Somalia (191,575), Eritreans (139,281) and Sudan (42,285). The number of refugees is expected to grow substantially during the course of the year as the country continues to receive refugees with nearly 100,000 new arrivals last year.
The country is also dealing with its own internal displacement and food insecurity challenges that leave 8.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020.
UNHCR is part of inter-agency humanitarian efforts to assist over 1.5 million Ethiopians displaced due to conflicts and climate shocks. Following the government’s large-scale IDP return operation last year, UNHCR has been supporting reintegration and recovery effort for displacement-affected Ethiopians, including returnees and vulnerable host communities.
#decentWork, #migrantWorkers, #labourMigration
Ecuador (South America), Jan 26 (Canadian-Media): At the 12th Summit of the Global Forum in Ecuador, International Labour Organization (ILO) stated that decent work deficits are one of the main causes of migratory movements, ILO news release of Jan 24 said.
Global Forum in Ecuador. Image credit: ILO
The ILO Regional Director a.i., Juan Hunt, recalled in his speech that most migration is directly or indirectly related to the world of work.
Quito – Employment policies and strategic alliances to seek effective and sustainable solutions are key to address the challenge of international migration, said the ILO during the 12th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development that concluded Jan 24 in the capital of Ecuador.
"Most migration is directly or indirectly related to the world of work, where there are now 164 million migrant workers or 70% of all working age migrants, and nearly half are women ", recalled the ILO Regional Director a.i. for Latin America and the Caribbean, Juan Hunt, speaking Thursday night at the closing plenary session of the Forum.
Hunt stressed that "As we look to the future, we can recognize that International migration is a reflection of global shifts, challenges and transformations, including in technology, in the world of work".
The meeting in Quito this week brought together some 1300 delegates from 150 countries, international organizations, civil society, workers' and employers' organizations, and local authorities, among others. The Global Forum was created in 2007 to facilitate discussion on how to generate better policies for international migration, develop innovative ideas and build partnerships.
"The ILO shares the view that partnerships among Governments, academia, media, mayors and migrants, as well as with world of work actors --business, employers´ and workers organizations and trade unions –are critical in shaping evidence-based dialogue and public perceptions," said Hunt.
He added that "ILO encourages social dialogue in the development and implementation of labour migration policies. This brings durability and legitimacy to programmes that support decent work."
The ILO Regional Director reminded the plenary that "decent work deficits, humanitarian issues and other challenges such as climate change exacerbate these situations and will continue to drive migration across the world."
ILO’s standards are particularly important in this regard as they lay the foundation for achieving decent work for all, including for realizing fundamental rights and freedoms, reducing vulnerability and exploitation, he explained.
"When migration and employment policies are well coordinated, we can make progress in eliminating recruitment fees and costs for migrant workers which reduce their savings and, in worst cases, lead to human trafficking and debt bondage," he added.
Regarding the meeting in Quito, the ILO Regional Director considered that it has been an intense and rich summit that touched upon many aspects of the migratory phenomenon, included new actors in the discussion such as local authorities.
In his speech, he stressed the importance of countering at the international level "the negative rhetoric surrounding migration" and of increasing "the capacity of response" to the challenges posed by the mobility of large numbers of human beings from one country to another.
“A human-centred approach to the future of work is crucial if we are to continue to meet labour markets needs while also ensuring workers are protected and can fulfil their potential without discrimination or exploitation,” said Hunt.
The ILO delegation to the XII Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Ecuador was headed by the Regional Director and the Director of the ILO Labour Migration Branch, Michelle Leighton.
#IOM; #UNMigration; #IFMS; #OECD; #UNDESA; #AU; SDGs; #GMDAC; #ILO; #UNHCR; #UNODC; #UNECE
Cairo (Egypt), Jan 21 (Canadian-Media): “I have put migration data at the centre of my vision for IOM, and have committed to strengthening the Organization’s engagement in this area over the next years,” International Organization of Migration (IOM) Director General António Vitorino told the second International Forum on Migration Statistics (IFMS) during opening ceremonies here this past weekend, IOM UN migration reports said.
IOM Director General António Vitorino told the second International Forum on Migration Statistics (IFMS) during opening ceremonies. Photo Credit: IOM
Organized jointly by the International Organization for Migration, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) brought over 700 delegates from more than 90 countries to its unique space for dialogue, information-sharing and networking for a broad range of actors hosted by the Egyptian Government, which currently chairs the African Union (AU).
Added DG Vitorino: “We as experts, practitioners and decision-makers have a collective responsibility to ensure that reliable facts and robust evidence are not only produced but also used appropriately and intelligently to steer policy and programmes and to combat an often-pervasive misinformation about migration.”
Delegates representing national and regional authorities, NGOs, international agencies and the private sector have gathered in Cairo with the aim of building and strengthening migration data capacities around the world. The three-day event at the InterContinental Citystars Hotel in Cairo concludes Tuesday (21/01).
Mr. Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Foreign Minister, stated: "Owning and relying on data in policy making is a key guarantee of proper international cooperation in the management and governance of human migration, and to enhance the contribution of migrants to development on a basis that respects their rights, legal frameworks and meets the needs of the international labour market, in addition to supporting the efforts of the international community to address some of the root causes of migration such as conflict, economic and social crises and environmental change.”
The Forum is organized around six thematic areas including measuring progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global commitments as well as data innovation. Several sessions will explore the potential of using “big data” to compliment the analysis of human mobility and migration flows as well as ways to address internal displacement through innovative monitoring tools.
"This conference comes at an important and significant time,” noted Egyptian General Khairat Barakat, Head of the Central Authority for Public Mobilization and Statistics. “Migration data constitutes a key segment of human resources, manpower information and cross-border groups. It also establishes controls for coordination between migration data producers to enable them to make the most of the data.”
IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) Director Frank Laczko, will speak at the closing plenary session on the next steps after the Forum. Other IOM representatives speaking at the Forum include Michele Klein Solomon, IOM Director of the Policy Hub and Marina Manke, IOM Head of Labour Mobility and Human Development Division.
The inaugural IFMS took place in January 2018 at the OECD Headquarters in Paris. IFMS aims to foster continuous discussion on global processes and enhance exchange between producers and users of migration data. The event is supported by partner organizations including ILO, UNHCR, UNODC, European Commission, UNFPA, and UNECE.
#IOM; #EUCouncil, #NewEUAfricaStrategy; #MultiannualFinancialFramework; #EuropeanGreenDeal; #NATO; #CroatianPresidency; #Migration
Brussels, Jan 20 (Canadian-Media): The International Organization for Migration (IOM) encouraged Croatia to use its six-month tenure at the helm of the Council of the European Union (EU) to promote a more comprehensive approach and a long-term EU budget that facilitates orderly, safe and regular migration, IOM UN Migration reports said.
On 1 January 2020, Croatia assumed the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). Photo Credit: European Union
In recommendations released today (15/01), IOM also called on the Croatian Presidency to ensure that migration considerations are reflected and integrated in the upcoming European Green Deal.
Croatia assumed the rotating six-month Presidency on 1 January 2020 and will hold this role through key EU discussions on a new pact on migration and asylum, a new EU-Africa strategy, a new Multiannual Financial Framework and a European Green Deal. The Presidency also coincides with the kickoff of the “decade of action” to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the target date of 2030.
“The Croatian Presidency will have the opportunity at the start of this new ‘decade of action’ to drive forward Council discussions on strategic, comprehensive, and coherent migration policies that can benefit the EU both internally and externally in partnership with third country partners,” said Ola Henrikson, IOM’s Regional Director for the EU, European Economic Area and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“We think that any discussion on migration policy must recognize the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development, including within the EU,” he added.
In promoting a comprehensive approach to migration governance, the Croatian Presidency should encourage Member States to prioritize flexible and accessible legal pathways for the admission of migrant workers to the EU. This should go alongside sound return and reintegration schemes that are developed and implemented in close partnership with origin, transit and host countries.
Equally important, advancing discussion on reforms for a functioning Common European Asylum System and an agreement on the Regulation for a Union Resettlement and Humanitarian Admission Framework are needed. Additionally, IOM is encouraging the Croatian Presidency to support investment in the collection, analysis and dissemination of improved migration data that can support evidence-based policies.
Looking ahead, IOM recommends that the EU budget for 2021-2027, the Multiannual Financial Framework, be endowed with the appropriate resources and procedures to implement a strategic and long-term vision.
“To achieve orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration, the EU’s future budget must respond to the needs and commitments of both the EU and its partners and adhere to a rights-based and holistic approach,” said Henrikson.
Croatia is taking over the Council Presidency as the EU is set to move forward with the proposed roadmap of the European Green Deal, which outlines ambitious measures towards a sustainable green transition. IOM is convinced that any forward-looking green policy must address the relationship between migration, displaced people and climate change.
“Given the critical role migration plays in the context of environment and climate change, the Croatian Presidency should factor migration into the measures that will be taken in the framework of the European Green Deal,” said Henrikson.
#UN; #IOM; #MTN; #MoMo; #Migrants; #Africa; #EU-IOMJointInitiative
Khartoum (Sudan), Jan 20 (Canadian-Media): To get around the shortage of cash in Sudan, Africa’s largest mobile operator MTN has partnered with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - enabling returning migrants to use its mobile money service MoMo to re-establish their livelihoods in the country, IOM UN Migration reports said.
An IOM pilot project will allow up to 2,000 returnees starting small businesses to select their own suppliers paid through MoMo.
“Economic reintegration is one of the key elements to sustainable return, and MoMo is an innovative way of delivering it,” said Andrew Gray, head of migration management and development at IOM Sudan.
Sudan presents a complex and diverse migration profile as a source, transit and destination country at the centre of multiple migration routes and is host to several migrant populations.
With IOM’s support, the country is also facilitating the return and reintegration of its nationals, many of whom were stranded in Libya.
In addition to psycho-social support, qualifying Sudanese migrant returnees are offered economic assistance to acquire vocational skills in preparation for their re-entry into the job market. They may also be offered small grants, paid in kind, to start small businesses.
Among those who have received reintegration support through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative is Mohamed Ahmed who returned to Sudan from Libya in 2018 with the IOM’s assistance.
He was able to open a shop in Omdurman market, Khartoum State, and now has a sustainable income. “Business is going well now, and I also got married and life has been getting better,” he says.
An agreement was reached between MTN, the Secretariat for Sudanese Working Abroad (SSWA) and IOM, through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (the EU-IOM Joint Initiative).
“It is an honour for MTN to be a part of this pilot; it goes further to the core of what we believe, to serve those who are unbanked, marginalized, to drive financial inclusion to those who do not have access to bank accounts and benefits of normal financial activity,” said MTN Sudan CEO Malik Melamu. “We hope that we can expand this partnership, to reach further.”
Amel Ibrahim of the SSWA said, “We are here to help the Sudanese people and this pilot could not be done without the collaboration of everyone. We hope for continued support to successfully reintegrate returning migrants to Sudan.”
About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative
Backed by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the programme was set up in 2016 in close cooperation with 26 African countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa and North Africa regions.
It facilitates safer, more informed and better governed migration for both migrants and their communities through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration.
In the Horn of Africa, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative – running from March 2017 to March 2021 – is mainly focused on four identified priority countries: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan.
#IOM; #UNMigration; #MigrantShipwreck; #Women&ChildrenPerish; #DGMM; #IOMTurkeyMediterraneanResponseTeam
Çeşme (Western Turkey), Jan 15 (Canadian-Media): “I saw some light of hope in people’s eyes hoping that their children or wives were alive but I had to give them the terrible news that some of their family members had died. Then I saw the deepest level of helplessness and desperation in their eyes. I had to inform a recently wed man that his wife and baby had died. I cannot find words to express how he hugged his deceased wife and child as a last farewell,’’ IOM news reports said.
IOM/UN Migration Agency. Image credit: Facebook
The words of Mehmet Emin Ayhan, a member of the IOM Turkey Mediterranean Response Team describing the scenes as survivors and the dead came ashore in Çeşme, Western Turkey at the weekend.
Eleven people including eight children lost their lives in the shipwreck on Saturday (11/01) when their small boat carrying 19 migrants capsized 250 metres after launching, on the short journey to the nearby Greek islands.
The eleven deceased - all Syrian nationals - were recovered by the Turkish coast guard at around 20:30 Turkish time. Among the eight survivors are four men, three women and one child. IOM Turkey’s Mediterranean Response Team was called to the disembarkation point and provided assistance in the form of blankets, hot drinks, first aid and comfort to the shocked survivors.
A father and son huddle to keep warm in a Turkish Coast Guard rescue boat waiting to reach land last month. IOM’s Mediterranean Response Team has provided humanitarian assistance to migrants rescued in the Aegean Sea since 2016. Image credit: © IOM 2019 /Bekir ERDİNÇ’
This latest tragedy comes during an apparent spike in departures from the western coast of Turkey. In the past two weeks a boat carrying 15 migrants capsized and eight people died in the locality. A few days after that a vessel carrying 56 migrants capsized nearby leaving four migrants dead and one still missing. In a separate incident on Saturday, 20 people were rescued and twelve died when their boat capsized on an unusual route in the Ionian Sea near the Greek island of Paxos. Seventeen people are reported missing.
The latest tragedy brings the total number of deaths recorded in the Mediterranean in the first ten days of 2020 to 35. According to figures provided by Turkish Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) 60,000 migrants and refugees were intercepted trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in 2019. In December alone more than 3,000 migrants were intercepted by the Turkish Coast Guard.
“More and more people are being driven by desperation to take these journeys of abject desperation”, said Lado Gvilava, IOM Chief of Mission in Turkey. “This latest tragedy breaks my heart, not only as we join the grief of the migrants and their families, but also as I hear, once again, that my staff have acted as heroes. Their hearts are forever marked with what they see every day, and I cannot praise them highly enough as they carry out their grim work with true dedication.”
#IOM; #UN; #HaitiWomen; #GoudouGoudou; Migrants; #IOMHaiti
Port-au-Prince, Jan 11 (Canadian-Media): To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Haiti earthquake and remember its victims, IOM Haiti, its Goodwill Ambassador Phyllisia Ross and a group of Haitian women artists have released the song ‘Goudou Goudou’ on video, IOM reports said.
Named for the popular way Haitians describe the earthquake which devastated their country, the video will help raise funds for the many displaced Haitians still living in camps who still need support.
The 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti on 12 January 2010, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with the Government of Haiti, UN, and other humanitarian agencies, has resettled 98 percent of 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were relocated due to the natural disaster.
After the earthquake, which caused the death of at least 220,000 people and injured tens of thousands more, IOM, the leading agency of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, supported the collection and monitoring of data on IDPs through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). From this data, the necessary action in disaster management, shelter, and non-food items, protection and health could be determined.
“After the earthquake struck, IOM staff responded within 24 hours,” said Giuseppe Loprete, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti. “We provided and coordinated the necessary services for survival, worked closely with the Government of Haiti and international humanitarian aid agencies to find lasting solutions to the crisis that left millions of people homeless and living in 1,500 camps,” he added.
IOM also supported the Government of Haiti in generating a national policy on short-term evacuation that covers preparation, pre-evacuation, evacuation, and post-evacuation in the event of an emergency of this nature and magnitude. More than 20,000 people were trained in basic first aid and disaster risk management in communities or camps. IOM also supported the construction or rehabilitation of 39 buildings that can be used as a short-term evacuation center.
IOM Haiti, through the Shelter Cluster, distributed grants to support the costs of renting accommodation to over 19,000 households. In coordination with other organizations, IOM also distributed more than 2,550 shelters, 20,000 reinforcement kits and 500 repair kits for timber-framed houses.
As of December 31, 2019, many of some 1,477 evacuation shelters need at least some remediation. IOM Haiti maintains that it is crucial to continue strengthening the capabilities of the National System for Disaster Risk Management in terms of evacuation shelter management and other responses to disasters.
In addition to addressing building needs, IOM provided immediate responses in areas such as gender-based violence (GBV), child protection, assistance to more vulnerable populations and mediation support during forced evictions. As a result, more than 16,500 people at risk have been supported in the camps (972 of which were for GBV), and 3,333 people have received their identity documents.
Health has also been a major issue since the earthquake. As part of the response to possible cholera outbreaks, IOM assisted 4,037,301 people in 532 camps and communities. In addition, IOM collaborated in the construction of four diarrheal disease treatment centers and installed 386 necessary medical structures.
Despite all these efforts, many people affected by the earthquake continue to face challenges and to date, still lack access to basic services, electricity, water, food, health, education and livelihood opportunities, as do many others in Haiti. Migratory flows from Haiti to neighboring countries as well as to North and South America are increasing as the most vulnerable population seeks new opportunities abroad.
#GoldDigging; #IOM; ##livelihood; #poorlyConstructedMines; #death
West Africa, Jan 11 (Canadian-Media): The mining of gold in unregulated and often hand-dug pits by hand in West Africa, can be a deadly occupation, but one which many impoverished people in the region are pushed into by necessity, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN reports said.
Gold-mining in West Africa is often carried out by hand. Credit: IOM/Alexander Bee
Mali is Africa’s third biggest exporter of gold and a third of the country’s total production is estimated to come from artisanal mining in which over one million people are employed.
Many are farmers who have migrated from neighbouring countries in the hope of supplementing the meagre incomes they earn from what is a seasonal occupation.
But, as demand for artisanal gold increases, so too does the number of people dying in poorly constructed mines.
An artisanal miner holds a small nugget of gold dug in Sikasso in Mali. Credit: IOM/Anna Pujol-Mazzini
#UnitedNations; ##UNHCR; #EU
United Nations, Jan 10 (Canadian-Media): The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is calling on the European Union (EU) to make 2020 “the year of change for robust refugee protection”. On Thursday, the agency issued a set of new recommendations, as Croatia and German preside over the EU Council during the next 12 months, UN reports said.
A quick smile from one of the 183 refugees resettled, originating in Sudan and the Central African Republic, prepares for his new life in France. Credit: IOM
After years of shifting policies and heated debate, UNHCR said that the ambitious but achievable recommendations would provide a common and workable asylum system within the EU through sustainable reform and revitalized financial support for host countries.
“As we enter a new decade, and following the success of the Global Refugee Forum, the EU under its presidencies has the chance to make 2020 the year of change for robust refugee protection,” said Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, UNHCR’s Regional Representative.
Referring to the last decade as “one of displacement”, Mr. Llosa added that the new one needed to be “one of solutions, starting right now in 2020”.
“By supporting large refugee hosting countries outside Europe, the EU can also help refugees thrive and not just survive”, Mr. Llosa concluded, highlighting the strengths of the new Pact on Migration and Asylum.
Wider opportunities for protection
The UNHCR document highlights two overarching opportunities to show leadership while better protecting refugees in Europe and abroad, namely moving ahead with sustainable asylum reform; and providing more support for the countries taking in refugees.
The agency proposal says that “fair and fast asylum procedures need to be established to quickly determine who needs international protection and who does not.”
People eligible for protection should quickly be granted status and receive support for integration, and those not eligible for any form of protection should be helped to return, it adds.
UNHCR also recommends that, with EU Member States receiving a disproportionate number of asylum claims, there is a need to ensure a truly common and workable asylum system. The agency encourages both countries, which will serve six months each in the presidency, to advance work on an effective solidarity mechanism, including through relocation arrangements, prioritizing family unity.
With 85 percent of the world’s refugees hosted in neighbouring and developing countries, revitalized financial support is also needed. UNHCR called on the presidencies to ensure increased and diversified funding, including for development cooperation funding, to further support host countries and help forcibly displaced people rebuild their lives.
#UN; #UNMigrants; #UNHCR; #InternationalMigrantsDay; #GlobalCopact
New York, Dec 18 (Canadian-Media): As “policies shaped more by fear than fact” have caused untold suffering to migrants, the UN Secretary-General is urging countries to realize the goals of a global agreement that promotes enhanced international cooperation on migration, UN reports said.
A family is trying to build a new life in Chile after migrating from Vargas State, Venezuela. Image credits: ©UNHCR/Santiago Escobar-Jarami
António Guterres issued the charge in his message for International Migrants Day, observed annually on 18 December.
“Safe, orderly and regular migration is in the interest of all. And national priorities on migration are best achieved through international cooperation,” he stated.
Globally, there are more than 270 million migrants, according to UN estimates.
Last December, countries agreed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration following 18 months of consultation and negotiation.
Its objectives address the issue at all levels, including mitigating the factors which lead people to leave their homelands, whether to find work or for other reasons.
Host communities can thrive: IOM chief Host communities across the globe have a long tradition of welcoming migrants, said the head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“The communities that thrive are those that embrace change and adjust to it. Migrants are an integral and welcome element of that change”, IOM Executive Director António Vitorino wrote in an op-ed for the day.
He added that migrants can also become “champions of resilience”, for example, during times of disaster, environmental change, unemployment, and political turmoil.
A longing to belong: Bachelet “Every person who migrates has their own reasons for leaving behind homes and families, and each one of these people has their own unique experiences along the journey: their own personal story of exile and belonging”, said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, in a video message for the day.
Born in Chile, Ms. Bachelet had a great-grandfather who left France for the South American country, where she went on to serve two terms as president.
She, too, was forced to leave her homeland for a period, and she recalled how the solidarity and generosity expressed at this time helped her develop “a new sense of belonging, and hope.”
Stories like these show how all people share what the UN rights chief described as “a longing to belong”, which includes caring for loved ones but also connecting with friends and communities.
“I have frequently expressed my concern about the attitudes and behavior that reject, dehumanize, exclude and attack migrants”, said Ms. Bachelet.
“Even though such sentiments rarely represent the mainstream view of migration, a few try to divide us and shout down more moderate opinions. The effects of such divisive narratives are wide reaching within our societies, reducing our trust in and connections with each other. “
On International Migrants Day, the High Commissioner encouraged people everywhere to celebrate “what unites us”, adding that “because it is when we come together that we can overcome differences and struggles. It is here where all of us find that we belong.”
National security fears As the UN chief stressed in his message, all migrants are entitled to human rights protection, which is enshrined in the Global Compact.
“Yet, we often hear narratives around migrants that are harmful and false,” he said. “And we often witness migrants facing unspeakable hardship as a result of policies shaped more by fear than by fact.”
The Secretary-General urged leaders and people everywhere “to bring the Global Compact to life, so that migration works for all.”
His message has been echoed by two UN independent human rights experts who also appeal for greater action to curb hate speech targeting migrants.
Felipe González Morales, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, and Can Ünver, chair of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers, warned that national security concerns are being wrongly used to criminalise migrants and those who support them.
“While security can be a legitimate concern and invoked as a justification for limitations to certain human rights, it cannot lead to the criminalisation of migration, or of those who support migrants,” they said in a statement.
The experts added that the Global Compact helps ensure human rights are respected at all stages of migration, and must be fully implemented.
Mr. Vitorino of IOM, the UN migration agency, observed that in the current “challenging” political climate, migrants make for an easy scapegoat for all the problems that plague society.
“Thus, on this day, we need to constantly remind the international community of the reality -- both historic and contemporary – that when well managed migration works, closed societies can become open, and political tensions fade away,” he wrote.
“Whether we are living, working, loving or building, we do so together.”