In 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 18th of December as International Migrants Day taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world. Some 191 million people today reside outside the country of their birth or nationality. Whilst for many their journey has been a positive experience, exploitation and discrimination against many migrants is continuing. b_85_57_16777215_00_images_content_news_844.jpg In 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 18th of December as International Migrants Day taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world. Some 191 million people today reside outside the country of their birth or nationality. Whilst for many their journey has been a positive experience, exploitation and discrimination against many migrants is continuing.
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In 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 18th of December as International Migrants Day taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world. Some 191 million people today reside outside the country of their birth or nationality. Whilst for many their journey has been a positive experience, exploitation and discrimination against many migrants is continuing.

By extrapolating the growth of the known migrant stocks for the period 1960-2005, the UN Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs determined that the number of international migrants in the world more than doubled, passing from an estimated 75 million in 1960 to 191 million in 2005, an increase of 121million over 45 years.

Illegal immigration continues to make the headlines. A great concern is the increasing pace of attempts to breach EU borders via sea routes, and the shocking number of deaths associated with these desperate ventures. Equally, smuggling and trafficking of human beings, mostly girls and young women but increasingly boys and men, continues to preoccupy the public and policy decision makers alike. Coercion of migrants by criminal organized groups into forced labour and prostitution, including through Western CIS and Balkans routings,remains at alarming heights.

IOM in Ukraine is committed in working towards effective respect for the human dignity and well being of migrants, something that is reflected in all its activities, projects and programmes. IOM work in this context includes working directly with migrants to ensure that their rights are protected and working with governments to establish migration management systems, which uphold the human rights of the individual. Addressing migrant rights is in the core of all of IOM migration management activities. This includes the detention of irregular migrants, as detained migrants have the rights for humane living standards, nutritious food, and medical attention.

Systems need to improve ensuring legal access, access to asylum procedures, interpretation services, voluntary return practices, and timely access to the legal system as a whole.

The global nature of migration calls for a global response. Irrespective of national origin, race, creed or colour, or legal status, migrants share with the nationals of their host community both a common humanity and the chance at a better life. “Migration is one of the defining issues of the twenty-first century. It is now an essential, inevitable and potentially beneficial component of the economic and social life of every country and region. The question is no longer whether to have migration, but rather how to manage migration effectively so as to enhance its positive and reduce its negative impacts. Well-informed choices by migrants, governments, home and host communities, civil society, and the private sector can help realize the positive potential of migration in social, economic and political terms” says Mr. Brunson McKinley, Director General, the International Organization for Migration.

For more information please contact IOM Kyiv Public Information Office at pr@iom.kiev.ua or 380 44) 568 50 15.