Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Today, globalization, together with advances in communications and transportation, has greatly increased the number of people who have the desire and the capacity to move to other places.
This new era has created challenges and opportunities for societies throughout the world. It also has served to underscore the clear linkage between migration and development, as well as the opportunities it provides for co-development, that is, the concerted improvement of economic and social conditions at both origin and destination.
Migration draws increasing attention in the world nowadays. Mixed with elements of unforeseeability, emergency, and complexity, the challenges and difficulties of international migration require enhanced cooperation and collective action among countries and regions. The United Nations is actively playing a catalyst role in this area, with the aim of creating more dialogues and interactions within countries and regions, as well as propelling experience exchange and collaboration opportunities.
On September 19, 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a set of commitments during its first ever summit on large movements of refugees and migrants to enhance the protection of refugees and migrants. These commitments are known as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (NY Declaration).
The NY Declaration reaffirms the importance of the international protection regime and represents a commitment by Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move. It paves the way for the adoption of two new global compacts in 2018: the global compact on refugees and the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.
2018 theme: Migration with Dignity
In 2018, close to 3,400 migrants and refugees already have lost their lives worldwide. That is why Migration with Dignity is the theme of 2018’s International Migrants Day.
Treating every migrant with dignity is one of fundamental requirements we face before anything else we attempt on migration. Migration is the great issue of our era, and a force for dignity because it allows people to choose to save themselves, letting them choose participation over isolation.
We must dignify those choices by paying them respect, and we respect them by treating those who make such choices with dignity. As we celebrate this day, our call is for migration to be safe, regular and dignified for all.