Reimagining Human Mobility
Migration is the large-scale movement of members of a species into a different environment. Pre-modern migration of humans started with the movement of Homo erectus from Africa to Eurasia and the rest of the world. Migration since then has become a global phenomenon, when people move from one place to another in the promise of better resources, dignity, safety, and peace. To safeguard the rights of migrants around the globe, the UN adopted the Convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families. UN proclaimed December 18 as “International migrants’ day” to raise awareness of the adversities faced by migrants and a goal to improve their social and economic conditions.
In 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants Day. The choice of the day was attributed to the adoption by General Assembly of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of “All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families”. The deliberations also led to the formation of “The Global Compact” first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the UN, covering all dimensions of international migration holistically and comprehensively.
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.Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary General
The number of international migrants globally is 272 million people, which is approximately 3.5 % of the world’s population. In less than ten years, this number has increased by more than 50 million. Migration in modern times is a result of various forces. Globalisation is resulting in the migration of many people in pursuit of education, better social and economic conditions. On the other hand, migration due to war, conflict and natural disasters often have tragic consequences. In such cases, the future of individuals is unforeseeable and adversities. The governments, UN and many organisations work towards the upliftment of these communities by establishing their identities, obtaining access to government welfare schemes, working opportunities, and providing education. “International Migrants Day” aims to acknowledge the hardships faced by the migrants and work towards bringing the countries together to establish universal rights of migrants across the world.
Social inclusion is a massive challenge during and the years after mass migration. The High number of people in one area often causes a crisis of jobs. Still, it also results in the creation of new opportunities that help in the economic development of the country. Migrants have made significant sociocultural, civic-political, and economic contributions to the origin and destination countries and communities. Migrants have also been a subject to political discrimination. They are often are used as a sensitive subject to divide and rule policy in politics.
Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. COVID-19 pandemic made the lives of the poor and economically challenged migrants difficult. The crisis unfolded due to the outbreak of pandemic in India has caused distress to many. To those who are directly undergoing suffering and those who witnessed it on the media. The question arises whether these people are living in their own country? Ignorance and exploitation by the politicians for extracting benefit out of the misery of these migrants. The role played by the media and the silence of intelligentsia all would haunt our society for long.
Today, more people than ever live in a country other than the one in which they were born. While many individuals migrate out of choice, many others migrate out of necessity.