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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Marking migrants day: The time for action is now

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 Migration is a major part of the human experience from time immemorial. Since the inception of the first communities; men have migrated for varied purposes, either for commerce or for the seeking of knowledge. It has fostered a harmonisation between civilisations through the sharing of ideas and items through the long and turbulent times of our existence in the world.

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One of the major problems of our time is migration without a doubt. From the issue of the infamous illegal migration that young African people embark upon to Italy and other European countries along the Mediterranean Sea. On the flip side are those migrants who are seeking refuge in other lands due to wars or political instabilities in their native lands. The latest figures available show that the number of refugees of concern to UNHCR stood at 10.4 million refugees at the beginning of 2013. A further 4.8 million registered refugees are looked after in some 60 camps in the Middle East by United Nations Relief this year alone. And how many are there that have not being registered at all?


Another pressing migration issue has been the European countries and by extension the whole Western hemisphere’s immigration policies of late. It can be remembered how David Cameron during the televised debates of their last elections, declared he wanted to deal with the immigration issue in such a way that it won’t be a political issue anymore. UK has an estimated net migration of 212,000 migrants this year alone and many of its citizens, like many others in the European countries are complaining that it won’t be sustainable because many are losing their jobs to migrants. This, amongst other issues tied to economic questions has been in the prevalent discourse on migration in the west.


Undoubtedly the immigration question is a big one in the modern world, but the major causes of this phenomenon are yet to be acknowledged by the various political and economic based movements around the world who are antagonistic to it. The major cause of migration around the world, apart from seeking refuge from war and natural disasters, is based on living standards. Many Africans take to the perilous seas of Italy and Spain in the hope of finding better lives and greener pastures, which usually results in great loss of lives amongst other problems such as mental imbalances. So the same thesis upon which the anti immigration activists built their case: the fear of economic crisis and loss of jobs, is the same thing that is driving many others out from their lands because they simply don’t have such in their countries of origin. 


As the world braces to celebrate and reaffirm its commitment to the cause of migrants: Let it be remembered that as long as poverty and wars as long as those two are not contained, people will always criss-cross the world in search of better lives, which their countries couldn’t offer them and that they will use any means necessary to get to those places promising to them.


Lastly, it’s the day for migrants and The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW) which is the main instrument of the United Nations for the protection and promotion of the rights of migrants the world over. This instrument has to be enforced and respected by all countries for a more  just world for all of humanity.


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