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Manila Bulletin Editorial on International Migrants Day
Date: 18/12/2009 - 07:50
In recognition of the contributions made by millions of migrants to the development and well being of so many countries in the world and as an opportunity to highlight issues that are of key interest to migrants and their communities, underscore the need to promote decent work for all, and promote respect for the basic human rights of migrants, International Migrants Day is celebrated on December 18 each year.
The day was proclaimed on the initiative of Filipino and other Asian migrant associations, who in 1997 began celebrating and promoting the day adopted by the United Nations to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their families. The establishment of the Convention underlined the need to ensure that all migrants enjoy the widest possible exercise of their fundamental rights and freedoms.
Throughout the world, people are being pushed beyond the borders of their own country by the prospect of better jobs and opportunities than are available at home, or by armed conflict and natural disasters.
Never has history seen as many people on the move from one country to another as today.
International migration makes a great contribution to the economic, social, and cultural life of the host country and has helped to fill gaps in the labor market, providing billions of dollars to developing countries each year in the form of migrant remittances. Migration enables people to improve their education, learn new skills, and make the best use of their talents.
The global exchange of ideas through migration contributes enormously to a global exchange of ideas and information which allows for experiencing a more varied and cosmopolitan lifestyle than was possible in the past. This means that international migration is a decent work and labor market issue which the international community recognizes as crucial linkage between migration and development. Return migrants bring back to their home countries significant financial, human, and social capital while transnational migrant communities promote home country development through trade, investments, and technology transfers.
Gains from migration and protection of migrant rights are inseparable. As we celebrate, recognize, and appreciate the contributions made by women and men migrant workers, we must not forget that migrant workers can make their best contributions when their human and labor rights are respected.
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