IOM staff assist migrants at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Photo: IOM
Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Today, globalization, 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.
On September 19, 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a set of commitments during its first ever summit on large movements of refugees and migrants to enhance the protection of refugees and migrants. These commitments are known as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (NY Declaration). The NY Declaration reaffirms the importance of the international protection regime and represents a commitment by Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move. It paves the way for the adoption of two new global compacts in 2018: the global compact on refugees and the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.
Syrian family arrive in Toronto Pearson Airport where they arrive as permanent residents of Canada. © IOM/Muse MohammedBackground
International Migrants Day
The total number of international migrants has increased from an estimated 175 million in 2000 to 244 million persons in 2015. Nearly two thirds of all international migrants live in Europe (76 million) or Asia (75 million). Migration is now more widely distributed across more countries. Today the top 10 countries of destination receive a smaller share of all migrants than in 2000.
One of every ten migrants is under the age of 15. The impact of remittance flows is also significant having reached $436 billion in 2014 – far exceeding official development assistance and, excluding China, foreign direct investmentMigration touches all states and people in an era of deepening globalization. it is intertwined with geopolitics/ trade/ cultural exchange and provides opportunities for states/ businesses/ communities to benefit enormously. © IOM/ World Migration Report 2018
Secretary-General’s Message on International Migrants Day
On International Migrants Day, we recognize the contributions and celebrate the vitality of the world’s 258 million migrants.
Evidence overwhelmingly shows that migrants generate economic, social and cultural benefits for societies everywhere. Yet hostility towards migrants is unfortunately growing around the world. Solidarity with migrants has never been more urgent.
Migration has always been with us. From time immemorial, people have moved in search of new opportunities and better lives. Climate change, demographics, instability, growing inequalities and aspirations for a better life – as well as unmet needs in labour markets – mean it is here to stay.
We need effective international cooperation in managing migration to ensure that its benefits are most widely distributed and that human rights of all concerned are properly protected – as recognized by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Last year, world leaders committed to adopting a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in 2018. As we look ahead, let us commit to making migration work for all.