June 20 is marked as the UN Day for Refugees. Most people are know about refugees but seldom do people know the full story. What people know is mostly fed to them by the media. We are led to believe that the world is now dealing with a refugee crisis, the fact is that Refugees and asylum seekers constitute roughly 10 per cent of all international migrants
There are an estimated 285 million international migrants who comprise of 3.4 percent of the world’s population. Half of these are women. Female migrants outnumber male migrants in the North, whereas male migrants outnumber female migrants in the South.
Half of this increase took place in countries of the developed regions (the “North”), while the other half took place in the developing regions (the “South”).
We need a shift in the way we see migrants,unfortunately the media mostly portrays them as destitute persons who are a burden on the local resources and social services. The fact is migrants make significant contributions to both their host and home countries. 48% of these migrants are women who send a higher percentage of their earnings back home. However this positive growth is not reflected because of political reasons and penalising asylum policies, Global goals targets include Protecting labour rights, Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, reduce costs of migrant remittances , End abuse, exploitation, trafficking
Migration is a powerful poverty reduction tool, which can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs
Labour migration can reduce poverty for migrants themselves, their families, and their origin and host countries.
Migrants and their families benefitfrom increased income and knowledge, which allows them to spend more on basic needs, access education and health services, and make investments – directly impacting SDG 1, SDG 3 and SDG 4.
For female migrants, increased economic resources can improve their autonomy and socioeconomicstatus, impacting SDG 5.
SDG targets related to migration
To reap the positive effects of migration we need to
SDG 8.8:Protectlabourrights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.
10.7: Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobilityof people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. ……..Humanitarian visas
10.c: By 2030, reduceto less than 3% the transactioncosts of migrant remittancesand eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5%.
SDG 16.2:End abuse,exploitation,traffickingand all forms of violence against and torture of children.
SDG 17.18:By 2020, enhance capacity building support to developing countries, including for Least Developed Countries (LCDs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)……………Support funding to UN agencies
What can we do to change the narrative?