Migrants integral to crisis response — UN

Migrants integral to crisis response — UN

Moses Kuwema

UN Secretary‑General António Guterres has said that migrants are integral to crisis response and must be included in pandemic recovery.

In his message for International Migrants Day on December 18, Secretary-General Guterres said just as migrants were integral in societies, they should also remain central in the recovery.

"On this International Migrants Day, we reflect on a year in which, because of the COVID‑19 pandemic, millions upon millions of people have experienced the pain of separation from friends and family, the uncertainty of employment and the need to adapt to a new and unfamiliar reality. 

These are emotions felt by migrants around the world every day," said Secretary-General Guterres. 

"Across this challenging year, we have also come to appreciate our dependence on those who are too often invisible within our communities.  

"Migrants have played an outsized role on the frontlines of responding to the crisis — from caring for the sick and elderly to ensuring food supplies during lockdowns — highlighting their broader contributions to societies around the world."

He said it was for this reason that migrants, irrespective of their legal status, must be included in every country’s pandemic response, particularly in health and vaccination programming.  

"We must reject hate speech and acts of xenophobia.  And we must find solutions for those migrants who have been left stranded, without income or legal status, and without means to return home," he said. 

"On this International Migrants Day, let us seize the opportunity of the recovery from the pandemic to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, reimagine human mobility, enable migrants to reignite economies at home and abroad and build more inclusive and resilient societies."