‘Just as migrants are integral to our societies, they should remain central to our recovery,’ Guterres says
Every country must include migrants, irrespective of their legal status, in response to Covid-19, particularly with respect to health and vaccination, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday.
In a message on International Migrants Day, he also said that migrants should be central to recovery, as they are integral to societies.
"We must ensure that migrants, irrespective of their legal status, are included in every country’s pandemic response, particularly in health, and vaccination programs," said the UN chief.
"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," he said.
"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," Guterres said.
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"These are emotions felt by migrants around the world every day," he said
“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," the UN secretary-general said.
"Just as migrants are integral to our societies, they should remain central to our recovery," he added.
Guterres called for seizing 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.