Hope and optimism in the face of hardship.
Human beings are systematically entangled in the web of problems, conflicts and other social issues, which may leave them in a perilous situation. Often, the best way to tackle our challenges is to educate people about them. Hence, that may explain why the United Nations puts a lot of effort into creating awareness of issues affecting us and marking international days, amongst them International Migrants Day. The aim is to educate and enlighten people to remember the problems of concern and mobilise the public to channel their will and resources to address them. By doing so, we celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity.
The celebration of International Migrants Day was created on 18th December 1990 by the United Nations, based on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers. According to research, about 281 million people were international migrants in 2020; that would amount to 3.6 per cent of the world population. That figure was 272 million in 2019 and 51 million more migrants than in 2010. Often these migrants are victims of assault, abuse, discrimination or violence; hence the United Nations has mandated everyone to protect all migrants and their families.
There are many reasons why someone would prefer to leave their home for another place. Sometimes people migrate voluntarily or by force due to war, conflict, economic reasons, or natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, drought, and tsunamis. Others migrate to study or live closer to family. Hence when you see a rat out of its hole, it is either looking for something or its life is in danger. Some migrants did not choose to leave their homes and countries; unfortunately, sometimes, they are forced to relocate.
When we talk about migrants, some people see them as just parasites who have relocated to other bases for their economic benefit. It is only sometimes the case. Migrants and immigrants contribute to a nation’s economic, social and political development. It is, therefore, not strange that countries like Canada are encouraging migrants to migrate to them.
Regardless of one’s attitude towards migrants, the fact remains that, from a moralistic point of view, every human deserves the right to a decent living. It is a fundamental right of everyone to have necessities in life such as food, shelter, health care, water, and clothing. As far as these needs are not met, human beings are bound to migrate in search of them.
Rather than mistreating migrants, we must make those necessities available and affordable. Our lives are interdependent and interwoven; we must be our brother’s keepers. There is hardly a better way to celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity than by showing love and compassion.
We must not afford to be left behind in assimilating migrants and allowing them to develop their potential. Tomorrow it might be you, me or anyone else. Let us join hands together as we celebrate the end of 2022 and work diligently and judiciously to usher in a more peaceful and progressive year in 2023.