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Long, dangerous journeys are on the rise, but migration drives prosperity

Speaking at the opening of the two-day meeting on harnessing the power of migration, IOM Director General Amy Pope expressed hope that participants will help bring prosperity, benefits and innovation to migrants as well as to their countries of origin and destination.

generally 281 million people worldwide is one of the moves, accounting for about 3.6% of the global population, according to a recent IOM report. This is up from 153 million in 1990 and more than three times the 84 million in 1970. Global trends suggest there will be more migration in the future.

Reason for running away

More and more people are fleeing war or fleeing violence. Many people are fleeing economic hardship or lack of opportunity. More and more people are fleeing the effects of climate change or food scarcity. And more and more people are fleeing a combination of all of the above,” Ms. Pope said.

Migrants are especially vulnerable she went on to talk about exploitation, violence, abuse and discrimination. This is especially true in the context of illegal migration, with desperate people undertaking long and dangerous journeys in search of a better future.

Simultaneously, Migration is one of the most important drivers of economic resilience, growth and prosperityshe said, and was even recognized in Agenda 2030 for sustainable development as a catalyst for a more just and equitable future for all people and the planet.

Broad benefits

“Clearly, it brings benefits in terms of economic prosperity,” she said. “But it also leads to skills exchange, workforce strengthening, investment and cultural diversity. It also offers some really good food, to be honest.”

The fact that migrants improve their lives, whether in their new or old country, is supported by another finding from the IOM report. The amount of money they send home increased by a staggering 650% between 2000 and 2022increased from 128 billion USD to 831 billion USD.

Most of the remittances, $647 billion, were sent to low- and middle-income countries, accounting for a significant portion of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and surpassing foreign direct investment.

Invest in migration

Ms Pope said any discussion about investment must include investment in people and migration.

“And the way to do that is to build safe and regular migration routesShe emphasized the need to protect the human rights and dignity of migrants, while ensuring “they can access essential services and do not become subject to exploitation in countries where they will work.”

Uganda’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Adonia Ayebare, said migration is driving rapid urbanization in many parts of the world. He emphasized the need for countries to “create an ecosystem for action” on regular migration as current options are insufficient.

“This mismatch comes at a high cost, both in the lives lost and human suffering caused by unsafe migration, and in the countries where countless opportunities are foregone,” he said. loss for individuals and society”.

Controversy and misinformation

But as UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed has noted, the issue of regular routes has become a controversial topic in some regions due to the political climate surrounding migration and the rise of malicious disinformation campaigns.

“Instead of providing regular routes to strengthen the workforce, better integrate migrants into host communities, and make migration safer for all those on the move, Policy makers are encouraged to consider migration as a problem; to believe that irregular migration represents the majority of migration and to focus only on the crisis aspects,” she said in a video message.

She pointed Compact global on migration, adopted by United Nations Member States in 2018, demonstrates a commitment to “ensure that policy-making and cooperation on migration are not dominated by such mistakes and misleading views, which with facts, with common sense and by taking a 360-degree approach to migration, including through conventional routes.”

Young migrants at the intersection between Zinder and Agadez regions. (document)

Young migrants at the intersection between Zinder and Agadez regions. (document)

Young potential

The head of the United Nations Youth Office, Felipe Paullier, recalls that half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. At 1.8 billion strong, they represent the largest generation of youth in history. Historically, the majority live in developing countries and account for just under a third of all migrants.

“Harnessing the potential of young migrants is key to unlocking the contribution of human mobility to development. The experiences, aspirations and contributions of young migrants are indispensable in shaping a better future for all,” he said.

Mr. Paullier called out ensuring that “young people have a seat at the table and a voice in the decision-making process”including the Global Compact on Migration.

New Goodwill Ambassador

IOM announced on Tuesday that the award-winning film and television actress and social activist America Ferrera was appointed as the new Global Goodwill Ambassador.

She is known for many iconic roles in television and film including Ugly Betty, Real Women Have Curves, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Superstore and most recently Barbie Doing made history, for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination.

Ms. Ferrera was born in the United States to Honduran immigrant parents and said the issue of migration has always been close to her heart.

“I am excited for the opportunity to continue spreading the stories that move us toward better and safer solutions to global migration,” she said.


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