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In recent years, conflict, insecurity, and the effects of climate change, war and conflict have heavily contributed to the forced movement whether within countries or across borders. In 2020 over 281 million people were international migrants while over 59 million people were internally displaced by the end of 2021.
Regardless of the reasons that compel people to move, migrants and displaced people represent some of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society, and are often exposed to abuse and exploitation, have limited access to essential services including healthcare, and are faced with xenophobic attacks and stigma fuelled by misinformation.
On the other hand, many migrant workers are often in temporary, informal, or unprotected jobs, which exposes them to a greater risk of insecurity, layoffs, and poor working conditions.
Due to persistent lack of safe and regular migration pathways, millions continue to take perilous journeys each year. Since 2014 more than 50,000 migrants have lost their lives on migratory routes across the world.
Despite this, migrants have proven to be a source of prosperity, innovation, and sustainable development to countries of origin, transit, and host countries. Their financial contribution through remittance offers a lifeline to families and spur local markets especially those of Low- and Middle-Income Countries while their role in the labour market remains invaluable as evident on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Their knowledge, networks, and skills have greatly contributed to the development of resilient communities.
Strengthening the contribution of migrants to sustainable development requires collective effort to improve the governance of migration and addressing the challenges migrants face. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) offers the opportunity and guidance to actualize human mobility and seize the opportunities it presents.
Every year on the 18th of December, the world marks International Migrants Day, a day set aside to recognise the important contribution of migrants while highlighting the challenges they face.
International Migrants Day is on the 18th of December every year.