Friday, 18 December 2020, marks the 20th Anniversary of the International Migrants Day. The theme is, “We Live Together”. The annual observance of the International Migrants Day was proclaimed on 4 December 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly, and it promotes the protection of the rights of migrant workers and family members.
Migration has been one of the driving forces to achieving socioeconomic balance in many developing nations. 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 favourable 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, colour, 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.
In the words of the United Nations Secretary-General, “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 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 recognising that, as “We Live Together”, we also must work together to make migration work for us all.