The Annual International Migrants Day fall this year on Wednesday 18 December. This day shines the spotlight on the plight, rights, and contributions of the millions of migrants all over the world. The former UN Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon is quoted as saying: “On 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.”
How many of us are migrants ourselves or the descendants of migrant parents or grandparents who made courageous decisions to overcome adversity for a better life for themselves and their families?
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. Our 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 unforeseeability, emergency, and complexity, the challenges and difficulties of international migration require enhanced cooperation and collective action among countries and regions.
Let us remember, Mary and Joseph who once had to flee with their tiny newborn son, Jesus, to a safer place. We remember too all the migrant people we’ve met who enrich our lives and our faith and refugees and asylum seekers still seeking a safer life for themselves and their families.
Given life for so many millions in our world, what might be the call of God to us this Christmas?