Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on International Migrants Day, to be observed on 18 December:
On International Migrants Day, we call for the fulfilment and protection of the human rights of the world’s 232 million migrants.
Far too many migrants live and work in precarious and unjust conditions. Many risk their lives at sea, attempting to seek sanctuary. They and their children are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Many are deprived of their liberty, rather than met with empathy and necessary protection. Persistent discrimination against migrants generates sharp inequalities, threatens the social fabric, and all too often, leads to violent and deadly attacks.
The post-2015 development agenda offers an opportunity to ensure that the needs of the poorest and most marginalized are made a priority. To meet the new framework’s core objective of “leaving no one behind”, we must devote greater attention to the precarious situation of the world’s migrants.
I call on all States to ratify and implement all core international human rights instruments, including the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, as well as relevant instruments of international labour law. I also urge States to adopt comprehensive and human rights-based migration policies that promote legal migration channels.
Accurate data is essential if States are to include migrants in their development strategies and enable them to contribute their skills and experiences to the advancement of their societies. Migration policies must be evidence-based, rather than rooted in xenophobia and misperceptions.
On International Migrants Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to shape diverse and open societies that provide opportunities and lives of dignity for all migrants.