18 December marks “International Migrants Day” – a UN observance that aims to actualize human mobility and to raise awareness about the challenges and opportunities of international migration.
A number of Karibu grantee partners are working on the intersection of migration, human rights, and international development, including Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) who has released a statement to mark the day. The statement includes 6 concrete calls and campaigns that place focus on the comprehensive human rights of migrants.
The English version can be found below:
Statement for International Migrants Day 2023
By: Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants
“On this International Migrants Day, APMM stands with migrants as they continue their journey of building a movement that shall defend their rights, promote solidarity, and advance a future where migrants and their families can have a decent and humane life.“
The International Migrants Day serves as a poignant reminder of the millions of individuals around the world who have embarked on journeys in search of better opportunities, safety, and a brighter future for themselves and their families. This day allows us to reflect on the challenges faced by migrants, forward calls for a more just and humane society for migrants and share the inspiring stories that epitomize the collective determination and solidarity of migrants for their rights and wellbeing.
The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) continues to bear witness to all the challenges, support the calls of migrants, and do our utmost to contribute in building and strengthening the grassroots movement of migrants.
Since we embarked on this mission, we have remained faithful and committed to integrating ourselves, build bridges among migrant workers and between migrants and advocates, and highlight the collective voice and stories of migrants in the Asia Pacific region.
This day is also a celebration of all the struggles that migrants collectively fought to advance their rights and wellbeing. As we highlight victories, we also take stock of lessons and affirm the key role of an empowered movement of grassroots migrants in effecting systemic changes that resolve forced migration, and commodification and exploitation of migrants.
Migration brings with it a myriad of challenges. In many instances, migrants are compelled to leave their homelands due to poverty, joblessness, conflict, persecution, or environmental crises. Migration is a perilous journey itself, often marked by treacherous conditions, unscrupulous recruitment practices, trafficking, and a constant threat to personal safety. Economic hardships, discrimination, and exclusion also feature prominently among the problems faced by migrants.
The trauma associated with these experiences can leave lasting scars on the mental and emotional well-being of individuals and families. Additionally, the loss of cultural ties and the need to adapt to unfamiliar customs further compound the difficulties faced by migrants as they navigate the complexities of life overseas.
On this International Migrants Day, we continue to support calls and campaigns for the following:
- Uphold the comprehensive human rights of migrants including their labor, political, social, and cultural rights.
- Decriminalize undocumented migrants and stop immigration detention and deportation.
- Build more inclusive societies without discrimination. Combat xenophobia in all its forms.
- Provide safe passage and free repatriation to migrants in need. Make accessible support programs for returned migrants.
- Defend and uphold the rights and wellbeing of women migrants.
- Enable the meaningful participation of grassroots migrants in policymaking and monitoring, and in dialogues and conversations on migration in various levels and with various stakeholders. Put the grassroots migrant in front and center of migration discourse.
These are the struggles that migrants’ movement champions. These are the struggles that highlight the exploitative and oppressive nature of modern-day migration which stands on the dire situation in countries of origin and further worsened by the modern-day slavery of migrants in host countries.
Amidst the challenges, different stories abound showcasing the indomitable spirit of migrants who have overcome adversity. While it is heartwarming to hear stories of resilience, we must look deeper into the conditions that force resilience amongst migrant workers. We must change and transform these conditions into political and economic policies that will eradicate forced migrations.
Let us not wait for another Flor Contemplacion, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, Piang Ngaih Don, Jullebee Ranara and many other names of migrant workers who have suffered abuse, and even death, because of a dream once promised for a better life in a different land.
On this International Migrants Day, APMM stands with migrants as they continue their journey of building a movement that shall defend their rights, promote solidarity, and advance a future where migrants and their families can have a decent and humane life.
Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)