By: Lailuma Noori
On 18 December 1990, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
Each year on Dec 18, the United Nations, through the UN-related agency International Organization for Migration (UN Migration), uses International Migrants Day to highlight the contributions made by the roughly 272 million migrants, including more than 41 million internally displaced persons, (IDPs) and the challenges they face.
This global event, supported by events organized by IOM’s nearly 500 country offices and sub-offices as well as governmental, international and domestic civil society partners examines a wide range of migration themes, Social Cohesion, Dignity, Exploitation, Solidarity to advocate for migration guided by the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.
Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Today, globalization, together with advances in communications and transportation, has greatly increased the number of people, who have the desire and the capacity to move to other places.
This new era has created challenges and opportunities for societies throughout the world. It also has served to underscore the clear linkage between migration and development, as well as the opportunities it provides for co-development, that is, the concerted improvement of economic and social conditions at both origin and destination.
Migration draws increasing attention in the world nowadays. Mixed with elements of un-foreseeability, emergency, and complexity, the challenges and difficulties of international migration require enhanced cooperation and collective action among countries and regions. The United Nations is actively playing a catalyst role in this area, with the aim of creating more dialogues and interactions within countries and regions, as well as propelling experience exchange and collaboration opportunities.
The observance of International Migrants Day this year focuses on the stories of social cohesion, which are as varied and unique as each of the 272 million migrants living new lives and building new communities in every corner of the globe.
We learn together, create together, work together, sing, dance and play together. We live together. That is the meaning of International Migrants Day and its message.
Today, there are some 4.6 million Afghans outside Afghanistan, of whom 2.7 million are registered refugees. Collectively, they represent one of the longest-displaced, longest-dispossessed populations worldwide. And after four decades, their future remains clouded by uncertainty and the fear of growing international apathy.
Afghan refugees have found sanctuary in over 80 countries worldwide and are, yet again, the largest groups of asylum-seekers currently arriving in Europe. What is too often overlooked, however, is that almost 90 percent of displaced Afghans live in just two countries: Pakistan and Iran. These governments, in the face of their own socioeconomic challenges, have generously hosted their neighbors.
In both countries, Afghan refugees live freely in major cities, children are able to attend primary school, and all can access local healthcare systems. From just 6 percent 40 years ago, the literacy of Afghan children in Iran now stands at 69 percent. Such inclusion and achievements put most of the world’s wealthiest nations to shame.
To end the Afghan exile, all parties to the Afghan conflict as well as international partners should give hands together to work for lasting peace and security in Afghanistan. Besides, Afghanistan government should also make effort to provide better opportunities of employment and education for its citizens in particular youth not to leave their country for neighboring and world countries.