Migration: rising to the challenge?

Migration: rising to the challenge?
By Isabel Marques da Silva
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On International Migrants Day, we look at the challenge of managing migration.


In 2018, close to 3,400 people lost their lives worldwide, of which around 2,000 trying to arrive in Europe.

Migration with Dignity" is the theme of 2018’s International Migrants Day, celebrated the 18th December.

To tackle this, one week ago, 164 countries endorsed the UN Global Compact on Migration.

The International Organization for Migration will be overseeing their efforts.

António Vitorino, Director General, the director-general warns that climate change will be one of the driving trends.

"Natural disasters and health calamities such as the current threat of Ebola in parts of Africa force more people to move every day. War, climate change, demographics and the widening gap between economic haves and have nots, all contribute to humanekind growing reliance on migration as a means to ensure the safety and the well being of individuals, families and communities," Vitorino explains.

There are 258 million migrants in the world, representing 3,4 per cent of the population.

More then 40 million are children and young adults studying.

The majority of migrants circulate in Asia, Africa and South America continents, with only one third living in Europe.

Michele LeVoy, Director of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants explains that the irregular status has many explications.

"Migrants who become undocumented many times, actually; do not do so in their own initiatives. In the case of the gender based violence, for example; women who linked to a spouse or an employer might suffer gender based violence and loose that status." says LeVoy.

The first evaluation of the UN Global Compact on Migration will take place in 4 years.

Michele LeVoy says that the implementation should be a joint effort with the civil society.

"Governments actually have to develop implementation plans, national action plans, and to do that they should be also looking at civil society actors, trade unions, local governments, for example cities (mayors)." 

A third of EU member states might not be part of the efforts to regulate migration. Six of them did not sign the compact and there are doubts about effective adoption in the other four.

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