Today, Sunday 18 December, and as it has been for 22 years, the International Day of Migrants is commemorated, by decision of the United Nations General Assembly, an organization that already in 1990 created the International Convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers. and their families.
According to United Nations data, by 2022 there are almost 300 million migrants in the world and by the end of 2021 more than 59 million people have been displaced from their places of origin. In addition to armed conflicts, civil wars, physical insecurity and political and economic crises, many migrants have been displaced in recent years by the severe consequences of climate change.
In this context, women, children, adolescents, the elderly and people with disabilities are most affected by the impact of migration and forced displacement. Furthermore, to this are added the intersectional factors of migrants such as gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin/race, social class, migrant status, among others. The COVID19 pandemic has also revealed the structural discrimination to which migrants are exposed and the need to promote a migration policy with a human rights-based approach.
In this sense, international organizations such as the Mercosur Institute of Public Policy on Human Rights (IPPDH), have been emphatic in affirming that at global and regional level, sustainable development requires the contribution of migrants and displaced persons. In his view, migrants provide significant skills as a workforce and promote cultural diversity in all countries of the world. However, the contribution of migrants will also be possible and with a great positive impact to the extent that States develop public policies favorable to their inclusion.
In this regard, and representing the voice of civil society organizations in our country, the spokesman of the Migrant Action Movement, Eduardo Cardoza, stated that “Chile receives this day with right-wing sectors promoting in Parliament more restrictive measures than existing ones, and insisting on the failed policies of his four years of government, which have caused so much damage to the country and to migrations”.
Furthermore, Cardoza provided data according to which there are currently around 500,000 pending procedures, as well as 127,000 people in an irregular situation. For the spokesperson of Acción Migrante, this is the responsibility of “a virtual system which, due to its inefficiency, has become a barrier against any regularity, countless pending legal proceedings for non-compliance with deadlines and countless other malfunctions”.
Faced with the risks of criminalizing migration and the feasibility of a xenophobic environment that directly affects migrants and their human dignity, reflects Fernando Campos, an academic at the Faculty of Law of the University of Chile. , those that increase the obstacles to integration or competition between nationals and foreigners. This situation is alarming because it creates a space for hate speech and violent practices associated with this narrative,” he warned.
In this way, academics and civil society representatives agree that this December 18 is still far from being a celebratory date, but rather a critical commemoration that invites reflection, both by citizens and by a political class still prey to incitement to hate and easy logic that prevents progress in this matter, a major concern of today’s governments in much of the world.