As we remember this International Day of Migration Today…

It’s human enough to pause for a moment and think!

Think of the fact that out of the 281 million international migrants, over 84 million of them are ‘Involuntary migrants, labelled ‘Refugees, asylum seekers and Internally displaced persons (IDPs)’. They are forced to flee persecution or human rights violations. Millions flee from armed conflicts or other crises. Some no longer feel safe and might have been targeted  because of  their ethnicity, religion, sexuality or political opinions.

Their involuntary journeys are full of danger and fear. Many risk falling prey to human trafficking and other forms of exploitation. Some are detained by the authorities as soon as they arrive in a new country. And for those already settling in, with a hope to start building a new life, a number of them face daily racism, xenophobia and discrimination.

Majority especially young children and youth end up alone and isolated because they have lost the support networks that most of us take for granted –our families, relatives, friends and communities.

If your are one of the victim like me, together let’s pause for a moment and think!

Think about how you can help one another,  encourage fellow victims, share the little you have, form a self help community where everyone feels they belong. Form empowerment network and positively do all we can to lift one another up, never to allow our suffering to hold us captive to its bondages. As Joyce Meyer once said “Our past may explain why we’re suffering but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage.”

To everyone else, It’s human enough for all of us to pause for a moment and think. As the world remember the International Day of Migration on this day of December 18th,  Just pause for a moment and think!.

Think about the situation of those who are the victims of the involuntary migration  in your very neighborhood. Their day to day struggle to make ends meet, anxiety, lost of identity and hopelessness weighing heavy in their hearts. Years afters years of waiting to live with dignity and hope again.

Pause for a moment and think!

Think about your situation, What you can do within your capacity to help such ones regain hope and rebuild their shattered lives?

Do you have influence in your community, school, workplace? Think about how you can engage those in position of authority  in a meaningful dialogue to improve process of handling claims of those waiting for years so that they don’t leave them in limbo – or locked away in detention centres – for years.

Let’s think beyond the labels…

Truly, each human being has more than one identity. “Refugee”, “migrant” and “asylum-seeker” are only temporary terms; they do not reflect the whole identity of women, children and men who have left their homes behind to start a new life in a new country.

Let’s echo Amnesty expression that “When we use these labels, we need to remember that out of the many ways in which people describe themselves, these terms only refer to one experience: that of leaving their countries. But the identities of these people are made up of so many more things.

Most people seeking to live elsewhere will feel that the experience of leaving their countries doesn’t fully capture who they are. Like all of us, they are complex and unique human beings and might choose to identify themselves as being from a certain country or region, belonging to a group that speaks a certain language or shares a culture. Or they might say about themselves that they are a teacher, doctor, artist, passionate football fan, father, sister, son or mother.

A person’s legal status cannot express the full identity and personality of a refugee, asylum-seeker or migrant. No one can be known solely through their legal status.”

May we all echo the 2021 theme: “Harnessing the potential of human mobility

All Migrants (voluntary and forced) can contribute with their knowledge, networks, and skills to build stronger, more resilient communities.  The global social and economic landscape can be shaped through impactful decisions to address the challenges and opportunities presented by global mobility and people on the move.

Despite the fact the vast majority of people continue to live in the countries in which they were born —Understanding changes in scale, emerging trends and shifting global demographics, social and economic transformations in migration, can help us make sense of the changing world we live in. And more so to act for a better world where all involuntary migrants feel safe, supported and given meaningful chance to rebuild their lives, A world where voluntary migrants feel protected from exploitation and abuse by their employers.

To Learn more about the global Migration trends, download the book. World Migration Report 2022 by IOM UN Migration.

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