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  • Writer's pictureIBVM Canada

International Migrants' Day

Migration is a human right for all people around the world.

Migration is part of human life

The history of humanity is based on the constant experience of migration. Migration has been the root of the development of countries, as a “source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development in the globalized world, and these positive impacts can be optimized by improving migration governance” (Global Compact for Migration, 2018). Throughout human history, people have faced migration and today is no exception.

An individual’s or a family’s reasons for migrating are a “complex combination of factors” (HCHR. 2020), such as violence, natural disasters, unemployment, poverty, lack of access to livelihoods, environmental degradation, and climate change. Many of these factors are consequences of global economic policies that put money and profit above human life and the life of the planet.

We need to be aware that “While migrants are not inherently vulnerable, they can be vulnerable to human rights violations”, as the High Commissioner of Human Rights of the United Nations warns. Migrants living in irregular situations are vulnerable to discrimination, marginalization, and exploitation. Frequently, they live in the shadows of cities, unaware of their rights, afraid to claim protection or assistance, and often denied the ability to claim their human rights and fundamental freedoms.


Frequently, migrants are often denied the chance to integrate into the country where they have worked for a long time. This increasing situation draws the attention of civil and human rights organizations to monitor cases of labour and immigration policies and to review hiring mechanisms to guarantee fairness and ethics. The need to protect migrant workers from all forms of abuse and exploitation, and to maximize “the economic contributions of migrants both in their countries of origin and destination” are of paramount importance to the national and global economy and development.” (Global Compact for Migration, 2018).

We are all defenders of human rights

Working together as defenders of human rights and dignity to reduce xenophobia, common discrimination against migrants, is an urgent commitment. Therefore, there is a need for committed efforts to promote, protect and fulfill the human rights and dignity of all migrants. Of particular importance are those migrants in vulnerable situations, who experience higher propensity towards marginalization and human rights violations.

Once again from the Mary Ward Centre, we reaffirm our commitment to contribute to the protection of the dignity of migrants, accompanying their voice that calls for justice and respect for their human rights. Migrants from all over the world help to build our nations, and all migrants with their work dignify the life of the communities they live in by integrating themselves into day-to-day life. We cannot be indifferent to the contribution of migrants, It is imperative that all of us, from our different positions, recognize and value the contribution of migrant men, women, and families to the care and creation of a better world for all.

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