December 18 As International Migrants Day


In 2000, the UN General Assembly declared December 18th as International Migrants Day, citing the world’s growing migrant population. The Day was chosen to commemorate the UNGA’s approval of the International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in 1990. In the last two years, two worldwide compacts have been signed, one on migration and the other on refugees.

More people than ever live outside of their birth nation. While some choose to relocate, others are forced to. The International Organization of Migrants (IOM) estimates that 281 million people will migrate globally in 2020, 60 million more than in 2010. However, only 3.6 percent of the world’s population, or 1 in 30 million, are migrants.

Work is the main reason individuals go abroad. The main migratory corridors are from underdeveloped countries to developed nations like the US, France, Russia, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. The number of foreign born in the US increased from 12 million in 1970 to 51 million in 2019. Next up is Germany, up from 8.9m in 2000 to 16m in 2020. These are high-income countries whose citizens can visit roughly 85% of other countries without a visa. However, they generally have tight visa requirements for less developed nations, which puts applicants in the hands of unscrupulous agents.

Work-related migration has increased international remittances from $126 billion in 2000 to $702 billion in 2020. In 2020, Covid 19 dropped only 2.4%. Indian remittances surpassed Chinese remittances by $83 billion in 2020, and Chinese remittances exceeded $59 billion in 2020. Remittances mainly originate from wealthy nations. US has the leading remittance sender for decades, with $68 billion in 2020, followed by UAE $43.2 billion, Saudi Arabia $34.6 billion, Switzerland 27.6 billion, and Germany 22 billion. Migration thus clearly connects growth and co-development. Migrant workers help host countries thrive economically, and their remittances boost living standards at home.

Multiple causes shaped migrant corridors, according to the IOM. More than 40% of international migrants, or 115 million, are Asian, with nearly 20% coming from six Asian countries: India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, and Afghanistan. Mexico was the second largest country of origin, followed by Russia. Ukraine, Poland, the UK, Romania, and Germany all have large emigrant populations.

While overseas migrants make up a modest percentage of the local population, they make up 88 percent of the population in nations like the UAE. Migrants encounter assimilation issues and work in 3D jobs: dirty, dangerous, and demanding. Immigration affects migrant’s access to health care and jobs. They may be exploited because to a lack of protective family networks, information, or papers. While some of the 35 million Indians living abroad have faced obstacles, the great majority have excelled.

Achieving a better life requires guts and migration has been a brave expression of that fortitude throughout history. The migrant caravans observed in the Western Balkans during the ethnic upheavals of the 1990s led to Yugoslavia being partitioned into six republics. It takes diasporic activities funded by the Serbian government to bring the 3 million exiled Serbs back to their roots, just as India does every year.

In recent years, massive migration and displacement events have occurred owing to conflicts in Syria, the Central African Republic, Yemen, the DRC, and South Sudan, as well as terrible atrocities against Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh for refuge. The Philippines, China, India, and the USA have all seen natural calamities cause them. Contrary to expectations, global displacement grew.

26 million migrants are refugees. The number of forcibly displaced persons, including refugees, has increased since 2010. (UNHCR). More Syrians have fled than any other country. Only five nations produce 68 percent of all refugees: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar. Afghanistan is the top host country followed by Turkey. Indians have a long record of welcoming refugees, including His Holiness Dalai Lama and other Tibetans from East Pakistan, Bangladesh, and most recently Afghanistan.

Turkey, with 3.7 million refugees, shelters twice as many as second-placed Colombia, with 1.7 million.

The crisis in Turkey stems from its proximity to Syria, where a decade-long war has raged. In 2015, over a million Syrian migrants entered the EU; 3771 perished crossing the seas. Asylum seekers must be physically present in the EU, yet airlines refuse them without a visa, forcing them into the hands of traffickers. German authorities took in 800,000 migrants during the difficult work of settling them, including 71 in an unventilated food truck in Vienna. Overwhelmed by the numbers, the EU donated funding to Turkey in 2016 to keep them safe. 40,000 migrant children may soon enter Sweden’s workforce, helping the country’s aging population. But migration politicized society and politics, and anti-immigrant sentiment grew.

US President Biden welcomed migrants/refugees from Central Asia, Central America, Africa and Afghanistan. Following the US pullout from Afghanistan in July 2021, many Afghans were compelled to return home via flight. During the pandemic, a record two million people crossed the border from Mexico to the US by foot. Around 1.2 million unaccompanied adolescents have been placed in state care. Finally, the numbers compelled the US to consider in-country asylum claims and solutions in the countries of origin.

Globally, over 55 million people are internally displaced, and over 26 million are refugees. Armed wars and natural disasters caused the most internal displacement in Africa. The ongoing Ethiopian civil war has resulted in millions of displaced people and a humanitarian crisis.

According to statistics, almost 425,000 refugees returned home or sought permanent homes in third countries in 2019. Travel was difficult due to the pandemic in 2020. Il a été reconnu qu’il fallait accroître solidarity, coopération, and support Human trafficking is also a concern, but there is a lack of agreement on how to tackle it in practice, and potentially a lack of political will to implement effective regulations.

Covid 19 associated immobility has disrupted migration. More than a few nations exploited epidemic to discourage immigration and promote For the US, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Greece, and Lebanon, this meant longer refugee resettlement times and fewer asylum seekers. Yemeni Houthi terrorists evicted thousands of Ethiopians and fired on them at the Saudi border. As in China, bigotry against East Asian migrants and their offspring has increased in the US and UK. Covid limitations shifted migration routes, forcing some migrants to cross the Canary Islands rather than transiting through transit nations like Libya and Morocco.

Globally, migration is gaining attention. The International Migrants Day is held globally to raise awareness of migrants’ human rights and fundamental freedoms, share experiences, and secure their safety. It has incorporated a film festival since 2016, with over 620 screenings and panel discussions in 2019. This year’s theme is “We Heal, Learn, and Shine.”

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