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December 18: International Migrants Day

Migration is a human phenomenon, an integral part of human existence. Human mobility is as old as the human race. Movement of people from one area to another, with the intent to settle temporarily or permanently is seen in both historic and pre-historic times.

What is driving people to migrate today? People are in search of better living and working conditions. Globalization has contributed to the growth of rising inequalities within and between countries. Consequently, poverty, hunger, environmental degradation, climate change, religious intolerance, political oppression, conflict, violence, war and demands from labour markets around the globe force people to migrate. Refugees and Migrants take great risks; they embark on perilous journeys, which many may not survive. They set out to do so, because the seas and the deserts are safer than their homes.

“What we are witnessing today is an unprecedented level of human mobility representing a very complex reality where there are migrants in irregular situations, unaccompanied or separated children, smuggled migrants, victims of trafficking, etc…”

On this International Migrants’ Day, let our voices be raised in defence of and in welcome of the voiceless. What gesture, however small, can we make so that their voices may be heard?