18 Dec 2015 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) - The year 2015 will be remembered as a year of human suffering and migrant tragedies, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says.
This is according to Bans message for International Migrants Day, which was commemorated on Friday.
The day is observed on 18 December as appointed by the UN General Assembly on 04 December 2000, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world.
In his message, published on the UN website, Ban said over 5 000 women, men and children lost their lives in search of protection and a better life this year.
Tens of thousands more have been exploited and abused by human traffickers, and millions have been made into scapegoats and become the targets of xenophobic policies and alarmist rhetoric, Ban stated.
He said the global community however this year also underscored the importance of the contribution of migrants to sustainable development.
He said with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September this year, world leaders vowed to protect the labour right of migrants workers, combat trans-national criminal human trafficking networks, and promote well-regulated migration and mobility.
By addressing root causes, the 2030 agenda also seeks to tackle the development, government and human rights challenges that are driving people to flee their homes in the first place.
The agenda comprises 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.
Ban noted that the world urgently needs to build on these efforts with a new global compact on human mobility based on better cooperation among country of origin, transit and destination, with enhanced responsibilities sharing, and full respect of the human rights of migrants, regardless of their status.
We must expand safe channels for regular migration, including for family reunification, labour mobility at all skill levels, greater resettlements opportunities, and education opportunities for children and adults.
International Migrants Day is observed in many countries through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental political freedoms of migrants, and through sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure the protection of migrants.