18 December 2021
In his message the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “On this International Migrants Day, we recognize the contributions of migrants across the world in the face of many struggles including the COVID-19 pandemic”
Migrants continue to face widespread stigmatization, inequalities, xenophobia, and racism. Migrant women and girls face heightened risk of gender-based violence and have fewer options to seek support. With borders closed, many migrants are stranded without income or shelter, unable to return home, separated from their families, and with uncertain futures.
Yet throughout the pandemic, migrants have enriched societies everywhere and are often on the frontlines of the pandemic response as scientists, health care professionals and essential workers.
The International Migration Review Forum next year will take stock of progress in implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. It is an opportunity to advance efforts to ensure the full inclusion of migrants as we 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.
“Solidarity with migrants has never been more urgent.We need more effective international cooperation and a more compassionate approach to migration”
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 recognizing the value of pathways for regular entry for both migrants and host countries. And it means addressing the underlying drivers behind migration, including deep inequalities, and combatting human smuggling and trafficking in people. On International Migrants Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to safe and dignified migration.