UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the international community to act on global compact to ensure safe, regular and orderly migration. In his message on the International Migrants Day on Sunday, Ban said 2016 was a turbulent year for refugees and migrants due to continued devastating effect of armed conflict on civilians, Xinhua news reported. He noted thousands of people lost their lives in transit in the Mediterranean and elsewhere; in addition, migrants and refugees were alienated and blamed for ills of society.
Therefore, Ban called on governments to build on their commitments to govern large movements of refugees and migrants in a way that was people centred and rooted in fundamental human rights. The total number of international migrants increased from an estimated 175 million in 2000 to 244 million in 2015.
One of every ten migrants is under the age of 15, according to the UN. In September, 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.
The Declaration reaffirms the importance of international protection regime and represents a commitment by the UN member states to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move. The International Migrants Day is observed annually on December 18 to celebrate the role of migrants and their contribution to development.