Since time immemorial, people have moved from one country or region to another. This is a universal phenomenon which has come to stay. Migration may be for various reasons. From the issue of climate change to wars and natural disasters; from economic disparity to the spread of tyranny and injustice, people have migrated and settled in other regions or countries. People even migrate in pursuit of happiness and a better life.
Thus, understanding and acquiescing to the fact that nothing we (the people of the world) do will ever stop migration, it would be better, and wiser to come together and seek ways of making it better and less traumatic for those who choose it. That is what makes this year’s theme – Safe Migration in a World on the Move – very apt.
As highlighted above, the reasons for migration are many and varied. Whatever one’s reason, as a citizen of the world, one should have the right and ability to migrate and resettle somewhere else as long as it is in accordance with law. Now, mention must of course be made of illegal migration which is almost about to change the face of the world. The current trends of illegal migration are just symptoms of a disease which is ravaging the world.
The world is rife with economic injustice. Systems and policies have been put in place by nations which seek to allow them prosper and progress while pinning other nations constantly downtrodden. It is the people of those downtrodden nations who have now had enough of poverty, want, oppression, deprivation, and injustice and will do anything to get out, so to speak.
Therefore, what needs to be done is to address the disease itself rather than focus on the symptoms if we are to achieve any success. We must level the balance of economic justice if we are to make any headway in making migration safer!
“Migration has always been with us. 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. The answer is effective international cooperation in managing migration to ensure that its benefits are most widely distributed, and that the human rights of all concerned are properly protected.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres