On this International Migrants Day, we reflect on the lives of the over 280 million people who left their country in the universal pursuit of opportunity, dignity, freedom, and a better life.
Today, over 80 per cent of the world’s migrants cross borders in a safe and orderly fashion.
This migration is a powerful driver of economic growth, dynamism, and understanding.
But unregulated migration along increasingly perilous routes – the cruel realm of traffickers – continues to extract a terrible cost.
Over the past eight years, at least 51,000 migrants have died – and thousands more have disappeared.
Behind each number is a human being – a sister, brother, daughter, son, mother, or father.
Migrant rights are human rights. They must be respected without discrimination – and irrespective of whether their movement is forced, voluntary, or formally authorized.
We must do everything possible to prevent the loss of life – as a humanitarian imperative and a moral and legal obligation.
We must provide for search and rescue efforts and medical care.
We must expand and diversify rights-based pathways for migration – to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and address labour market shortages.
And we need greater international support for investments in countries of origin to ensure migration is a choice, not a necessity.
There is no migration crisis; there is a crisis of solidarity.
Today and every day, let us safeguard our common humanity and secure the rights and dignity of all.