Migration has been associated with a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. With globalisation, a larger number of people can now hope to live better as communication and travel in the modern world have improved vastly.
The United Nations declared 18th December as the International Migrants Day. On 4th December 2000, the General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18th December International Migrants Day.
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.
In his message to the world on International Migrants Day, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “All migrants are entitled to equal protection of all their human rights. On this International Day, I urge leaders and people everywhere to bring the Global Compact to life, so that migration works for all.”
Migration, development and significance in 2019:
Many advanced and dynamic economies need migrant workers to fill jobs that cannot be outsourced and that do not find local workers willing to take them at going wages. Population ageing also underlies this growing demand, as it gives rise to deficits of workers relative to dependants. And as younger generations become better educated, fewer in their ranks are content with low-paid and physically demanding jobs.
At the point of origin, deeper poverty does not lead automatically to higher migration. The poorest people generally do not have the resources to bear the costs and risks of international migration. International migrants are usually drawn from middle-income households. However, when migrants establish themselves abroad, they help friends and relatives to follow and, in the process, the costs and risks of migration fall, making it possible for poorer people, though not for the poorest, to join the stream. Low-skilled migration has the largest potential to reduce the depth and severity of poverty in communities of origin.
Mounting evidence indicates that international migration is usually positive both for countries of origin and of destination. Its potential benefits are larger than the potential gains from freer international trade, particularly for developing countries.
History of International Migration Day:
On 4th December 2000, the General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18th December International Migrants Day (A/RES/55/93). On that day, in 1990, the Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (A/RES/45/158).
The 132 Member States that participated in the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, conducted by the General Assembly on 14 and 15 September 2006, reaffirmed a number of key messages. First, they underscored that international migration was a growing phenomenon and that it could make a positive contribution to development in countries of origin and countries of destination provided it was supported by the right policies. Secondly, they emphasised that respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all migrants was essential to reap the benefits of international migration. Thirdly, they recognised the importance of strengthening international cooperation on international migration bilaterally, regionally and globally.
In September 2016, the UN General Assembly hosted a high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach.
It was the first time the General Assembly had called for a summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants and was a historic opportunity to come up with a blueprint for a better international response. The Summit was a watershed moment to strengthen governance of international migration and a unique opportunity for creating a more responsible, predictable system for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants.