Every year, on December 18th, the United Nations call on the international community,
governments and civil societies, to open their eyes and see those we often prefer to look away from, ignore and deny; those whom we think of as a nameless mass, uncontrollable flooding waves; those whom we reject as incompatible strangers, security threats, radical others – migrants.
The word has become a bogey
While this very word has become a bogey in a number of countries, used as a threat by an ever-increasing number of political and media actors, it is relevant to recall that there never was any proper definition of an “international migrant” in international law; that we commonly define as such any person changing their country of residence for a rather significant period of time, irrespective of their motivations or legal status; and that, as such, we all are potential migrants.
In a time where a piece of paper, often coinciding with a shade of skin color, can give or deny one access to the rest of the world, let one enjoy the richness of our shared Earth and humanity’s landscapes, faces, cultures and climates, while forcing another to put their life at risk in order to save it, however, we obviously are not all the same type of migrants.
In a time where a piece of paper delivered at birth decides of the value of one’s life, however, we obviously are not all the same type of humans.
Some of us
Some of us were born to become one of the 281 million people identified as international migrants by the United Nations in 2020; of the 59 million internally displaced people at the end of the year 2021.
Some of us were born to be one more of the 50,000 corpses scattered along migratory routes worldwide – the 50,000 corpses we know of.
Some of us were born to travel, expatriate, explore. Others to irregularly-migrate, escape, attempt to survive.
Every year, on December 18th, the United Nations’ International Migrants Day call on the
international community, governments and civil societies to see those we more often that not consider nothing but parasites as the “source of prosperity, innovation, and sustainable development to countries of origin, transit, and host countries” they surely are.
Every day of the year, as members of A World of Neighbours, we work towards a time where we all get to be migrants. Earth’s inhabitants.
Breathing moving human bodies.