Ranjan K Baruah
Many of us travel outside the native place in search of better employment or for getting jobs and employment. Since the earliest times, humanity has been on the move. Some people move in search of work or economic opportunities, to join family, or to study.
Others move to escape conflict, persecution, terrorism, or human rights violations. In recent years, conflict, insecurity, and the effects of climate change, war and conflict have heavily contributed to the forced movement whether within countries or across borders. In 2020 over 281 million people were international migrants while over 59 million people were internally displaced by the end of 2021.
Regardless of the reasons that compel people to move, migrants and displaced people represent some of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society, and are often exposed to abuse and exploitation, have limited access to essential services including healthcare, and are faced with xenophobic attacks and stigma fueled by misinformation.
On the other hand, many migrant workers are often in temporary, informal, or unprotected jobs, which expose them to a greater risk of insecurity, layoffs, and poor working conditions.
Due to persistent lack of safe and regular migration pathways, millions continue to take perilous journeys each year. Since 2014 more than 50,000 migrants have lost their lives on migratory routes across the world.
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) defines a migrant as any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of (1) the person’s legal status; (2) whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; (3) what the causes for the movement are; or (4) what the length of the stay is.
On 4 December 2000, the General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December International Migrants Day (A/RES/55/93). On that day, in 1990, the Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (A/RES/45/158).
The Secretary-General of the United Nations in his message said that “on this International Migrants Day, we reflect on the lives of the over 280 million people who left their country in the universal pursuit of opportunity, dignity, freedom, and a better life. Today, over 80 per cent of the world’s migrants cross borders in a safe and orderly fashion.
This migration is a powerful driver of economic growth, dynamism, and understanding.” He also said that “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. We must provide for search and rescue efforts and medical care.”
Career in migration studies can be one of the options for the young people to work in the field of migration. A degree in social work or development studies or social sciences is always helpful for the aspirants to build their careers related to migration.
One may work in international agencies and different agencies working in the field of migration. We can work for the rights of the migrant workers and their family members. The work may be related to human rights, educational rights, health rights, etc.
(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor and skill trainer and can be reached at 8473943734 or [email protected]