United Nations Celebrates International Migrants Day – December 18th

On December 18th of every year, the United Nations and member states recognize International Migrants Day. In 2017, the International Organization for Migrants celebrates its 65th anniversary. This organization was formed in 1951 to help relocated Europeans following World War II.

Over the many years, the IOM has helped to relocate and settle migrant populations in Hungary, Africa, Chile, South Asia, Kuwait, Rwanda, and other countries around the world. Look at this video of this amazing history.

Today, according to the UN, the total number of international migrants has increased from an estimated 175 million in 2000 to 244 million persons in 2015. Nearly two-thirds of all international migrants live in Europe (76 million) or Asia (75 million). Migration is now more widely distributed across more countries.

Children, women, and men who have fled their homes amid the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis stand outside tents in a park next to the bus and train stations in Belgrade, Serbia. Photo: UNICEF/ Shubuckl

The United Nations reports that one in every ten migrants is under the age of 15. The lure of a well-paid job in a wealthy country is a powerful driver of international migration. The attraction has intensified as income differentials among countries continue to grow.

Advanced Economies Need Migrants!

According to the UN report, many advanced and dynamic economies need migrant workers to fill jobs that cannot be outsourced and that do not find local workers willing to take them at going wages. Population aging also underlies this growing demand, as it gives rise to deficits of workers relative to dependents. And as younger generations become better educated, fewer in their ranks are content with low-paid and physically demanding jobs.

Migration may reduce wages or lead to higher unemployment among low-skilled workers in advanced economies, many of whom are themselves migrants who arrived in earlier waves. However, most migrants complement the skills of domestic workers instead of competing with them. By performing tasks that either would go undone or cost more, migrants allow citizens to perform other, more productive and better-paid jobs.

Migrants also maintain viable economic activities that, in their absence, would be outsourced. By enlarging the labor force and the pool of consumers and by contributing their entrepreneurial capacities, migrants boost economic growth in receiving countries.

“On this International Migrants Day, I call on the international community to act on the global compact on safe, regular and orderly migration as an important contribution to building a world of peace, prosperity, dignity, and opportunity for all.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Reference:

United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/events/migrantsday/background.shtml

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