Int’l Migrants Day: 280 million people seek greener pastures worldwide – UN

THE Secretary-General of the United States António Guterres has revealed that 280 million people worldwide left their nations to seek a better life elsewhere.

The ICIR reports that the figure is more than the population of Togo, Benin and Ghana according to Worldometers, a globally-acceptable data platform.

The population of the three countries are currently 218.6 million (Nigeria), 12.9 million (Benin), 8.7 million (Togo), and 32.6 million (Ghana), which are four contiguous countries in West Africa. 

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In his message to commemorate International Migrants Day today, December 18, Guterres said over 80 per cent of the migrants crossed borders in a safe and orderly fashion.

He noted that migrants seek opportunity, dignity, freedom and a better life and are powerful drivers of economic growth, dynamism and understanding.

But he decried the rate of deaths among those who migrate illegally, noting that “unregulated migration along increasingly perilous routes – the cruel realm of traffickers – continues to extract a terrible cost”.

“Over the past eight years, at least 51,000 migrants have died – and thousands more have disappeared. Behind each number is a human being – a sister, brother, daughter, son, mother, or father.

“Migrant rights are human rights. They must be respected without discrimination – and irrespective of whether their movement is forced, voluntary, or formally authorized. 

“We must do everything possible to prevent the loss of life – as a humanitarian imperative and a moral and legal obligation.”

To save migrants involved in accidents, Guterres said the world must provide for search and rescue efforts and medical care.

“We must expand and diversify rights-based pathways for migration – to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and address labour market shortages. And we need greater international support for investments in countries of origin to ensure migration is a choice, not a necessity.



    “There is no migration crisis; there is a crisis of solidarity. Today and every day, let us safeguard our common humanity and secure the rights and dignity of all,” he said.

    The ICIR reports that migration has spiralled globally since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

    The pandemic killed 6.67 million people globally from about 657.6 million cases.

    In what has become “japa” in Nigeria, many people leave the country because of its economic woes, insecurity, snowballing unemployment and general despondency occasioned by bad governance.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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