Ministry of Foreign Affairs marks International Migrants Day 2020

Ministry of Foreign Affairs marks International Migrants Day 2020
Deported migrants queue to be registered by the International Organization for Migration and government officials in Haiti in November 2019. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF GIUSEPPE LOPRETE/IOM)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement yesterday recognized the 20th annual International Migrants Day with a pledge to treat migrants fairly, while acknowledging the “nuanced” reality immigration has had on The Bahamas.

“Migration has been one of the driving forces to achieving socioeconomic balance in many developing nations,” the statement read. “As a tourism-based economy, The Bahamas and many of our regional counterparts recognize the strong influence of international migration on national economic development.

“In addition to a positive economic impact, migrants bring a wealth of favorable skill-sets and sociocultural diversity to the communities where they settle.

“The reality for The Bahamas as regards migration is a nuanced one, with the added impact of irregular migration on the fabric of its society, the same being witnessed and experienced at the political, economic, social and security fronts.

“For this reason, The Bahamas government is vested in implementing contemporary policies that encourage the fair treatment of all human beings, regardless of race, color, place of origin, political opinions, creed or sex (the Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Chapter III), while ensuring their protection and maintaining national security, with the powerful international instruments available as guides.”

The annual observance of International Migrants Day was proclaimed on December 4, 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly, and it promotes the protection of the rights of migrant workers and family members. This year, International Migrants Day was observed on December 18, 2020 under the theme “We Live Together”.

On the occasion, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said: “All migrants are entitled to equal protection of all their human rights.

“On this international day, I urge leaders and people everywhere to bring the Global Compact [on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration] to life, so that migration works for all.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affair’s statement continued: “The Bahamas, which participated in the Inter-Governmental Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, in December 2018, confirmed its commitment to the vision and purpose of the Compact in its adoption.

“The Bahamas remains proud of its active engagement with the international community and partners in recognizing that, as ‘We Live Together’, we also must work together to make migration work for us all.”