Since the proclamation of International Migrant’s Day in December 2000, the world has been celebrating the contributions of millions of migrants to their host and countries of origin each year on the 18th of December.
On that same date in 1990, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) spearheads activities for the annual commemoration and so far, has examined themes such as Exploitation, Dignity, Social Cohesion and Solidarity to advocate of migration.
There is no country in the world that does not have a migrant population. Living in a globalized society, various dimensions of migration exists. People choose to settle in countries other than their own for reasons such as economic (which is top of the list), political, social amongst many others. It takes a lot of risk and courage for people to decide to move out of their familiar territories to a new socio-cultural environment, but for whatever reason they choose to do so legally, they should be able to express themselves and live in dignity in a highly globalized world.
The contributions of migrants, also referred to as expatriates by certain sections of society cannot be over emphasized to the development of countries. Diasporas are formed as a result of migrant activities and so it is needful that they are properly engaged so that their efforts will be felt properly.
Although private entities and non-governmental organizations have collaborated with diaspora networks, it is much easier when governments of respective countries work closer with their diasporas to properly understand their needs and access their input in terms of development. Not only do migrants who have the means to invest financially be the ones to be engaged, but a holistic approach needs to be adopted in making sure that everyone has a chance at the table and that all concerns are addressed satisfactorily.
One of the barriers to successful diaspora engagement is lack of information on the work of diaspora networks and communication. At Diaspora Digital News, we have taken it upon ourselves to bridge the communications gap by promoting the work of diaspora networks, organisations, personalities and expertise to our global audience and we remain committed to that. We join the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and people all around the world in wishing especially those in the diaspora, a happy International Migrant’s Day. May all our efforts count and yield positive results!
By: Theresa R. Fianko