Press Release

UN Secretary-General's Message for International Migrants Day, 18 December

17 December 2020

  • Mr. Antonio Guterres acknowledges the pain of separation from friends and family, the uncertainty of employment and the need to adapt to a new and unfamiliar reality that millions of migrants experience every day

On this International Migrants Day, we reflect on a year in which, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions upon millions of people have experienced the pain of separation from friends and family, the uncertainty of employment and the need to adapt to a new and unfamiliar reality.

These are emotions felt by migrants around the world every day. 

Across this challenging year, we have also come to appreciate our dependence on those who are too often invisible within our communities. Migrants have played an outsized role on the frontlines of responding to the crisis – from caring for the sick and elderly to ensuring food supplies during lockdowns – highlighting their broader contributions to societies around the world. 

Just as migrants are integral to our societies, they should remain central to our recovery.

We must ensure that migrants, irrespective of their legal status, are included in every country’s pandemic response, particularly in health and vaccination programming. We must reject hate speech and acts of xenophobia. And we must find solutions for those migrants who have been left stranded, without income or legal status, and without means to return home.

On this International Migrants Day, let us seize the opportunity of the recovery from the pandemic to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, reimagine human mobility, enable migrants to reignite economies at home and abroad and build more inclusive and resilient societies.

UN Secretary-General's Message for International Migrants Day, 18 December

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