[Press Release] International Migrants Day 2013 ‘Migrant Well-Being is Development’
18 December 2013
Kathmandu – “Improving the whole well-being of an individual is a key aim of development. Migrant well-being, nevertheless, can be easily overlooked when we focus only on the socioeconomic impacts and indicators of migratory process, rather than on migrants as persons.” said Maurizio Busatti, the International Organization for Migration Nepal Chief of Mission as it marks International Migrants Day on December 18.
The celebration was organized by the Government of Nepal, the IOM Nepal, the United Nations, and the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal at Patan Museum, Lalitpur. This year’s theme for the day was ‘Migrant Well-Being is Development’ with a focus on the importance of migrants well-being as a key requisite for human development across a broad range of dimensions, and on the continuing struggle by many Nepalese migrants inside and outside of the country to better their life and the ones of their beloved ones through migration.
The Department of Foreign Employment estimated that around 1,700 Nepalese leave seeking a job to foreign countries except India each day. Migration is a historical phenomenon for Nepal since the late eighteenth century, but it has lately assumed a greater dimension in scale and destinations during the last two decades and considerably expanding to Gulf States, Malaysia, South Korea, North America and Europe to date.
Most research on migration and development in Nepal and elsewhere looks at the economic impact of remittances sent back home by migrants. This sole perspective, however, fails to capture all of the impact that migrations carry for the lives of individuals, their families and communities and there has been a growing debate on how the benefits of migration can best be harnessed for human development.
“Despite the formidable challenges migrants face on a daily basis migration also brings tremendous opportunities for migrants and their families including skills enhancement and increased benefits at the household level such as investment in health and children's education,” stated H.E. Rensje Teerink, Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nepal. “Together we need to ensure that migrants' remittances and their other social, human and cultural capitals are not lost as a valuable resource for promoting both human and local development," H.E Teerink added.
In October this year, at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly adopted the declaration of the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development on the importance of migration to development, and the protection of the rights of all migrants. It clearly acknowledges the important contribution of migration in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and recognizes that human mobility is a key factor for sustainable development which should be adequately considered in the post-2015 development agenda.
“The UN Country Team in Nepal is aware about the vulnerability of the migrants and the problems they are facing in Nepal as well as in the destination countries. The UN has included the migrants and their families as its client group under the UN Development Assistance Framework for 2013-17 to protect and improve the wellbeing of Nepali migrants.” said Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations Resident Coordinator.
“The Government of Nepal is willing to work together with the international community and all other stakeholder countries to ensure that international migration and its contribution is duly reflected in all relevant international documents, including the post-2015 Development agenda to promote orderly labour migration for the benefit of all parties.” said Honorable Minister, Mr. Madhav Prasad Ghimire, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs.
At the end of the observance, the IOM-EU Migration Photo Exhibition was inaugurated. The exhibit displays 30 excellent photographs of Nepalese migrants and their families that were submitted to the migration themed photo contest sponsored by the IOM and the EU. The exhibition will open for the public from 19 to 22 December at the Patan Museum.
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