In 2000, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 18 December International Migrants Day. It was established to harness the potential of human mobility and stress the positive contribution it can give to global development if supported by the right policies.
On this day more than ever, UNIMED is proud of its commitment to fight for fundamental rights and freedoms of all migrants through the SubNetwork on Migration and a number of projects. Those activities strongly promote knowledge circulation, peer support, academic partnership, curricula development and capacity building to leave no one behind and harness the potential of human flows.
In order to join the celebrations of the International Migrants Day and to raise awareness about the challenges and difficulties of international migration, the UNIMED SubNetwork on Migration organises a webinar on the topic of Migration, Inclusive Cultural Diversity and Integration, which will be held on December 19th at 3.30 pm (CET).
Migration is a global phenomenon depending sometimes on the free choice to go find a better future elsewhere. Other times, it is imposed on people when they are obliged to flee their home countries, and cross national and international political borders seeking refuge in different geographical and cultural environments. For a multiplicity of reasons, including economic, demographic and socio-cultural factors, political instability, persecution, human rights violations and climate change disasters, people move from their home countries to different and sometimes unknown destinations.
Displacement is becoming a very common phenomenon in almost all the parts of the world. Millions of people have been looking for a better life, safety and peace in different parts of the world. Though international laws have historically tried to guarantee the rights of these people and ensure their full integration in their host countries, these communities are, unfortunately, usually challenged by a number of unwelcoming and discriminative acts and manifestations which include stereotypes, racism, hatred and xenophobia. The difference in the skin color, religion, ethnicity or language have been taken socially and politically as criteria to perceive these displaced minorities as culturally different and inferior in many host countries. Therefore, it is urgent to protect these migrants from becoming assimilated, marginalized and stigmatized communities, and establish mutual spaces for cultural encounters between the displaced minorities and the receiving communities. It is also primordial to promote effective integrative strategies through recognizing and accepting the presence of these minorities within an inclusive multicultural environment in their host societies.
For all these reasons, the promotion and adoption of an inclusive cultural diversity emerges as one of the measures that can reduce the challenges and psychological traumas forced mobilities impose on migrants. Inclusive cultural diversity is a driving force which will surely help to integrate migrants in their host societies as it recognizes and respects the existence and contribution of the diverse cultures of both the migrant communities and their host societies. On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, the SubNetwork on Migration would like to address the following themes with focus on concrete examples of studies, research, projects, and initiatives.
- Cultural challenges for migrants
- Inclusive cultural diversity
- Migration and Acculturation Strategies
- Migrants and Assimilation
- Migrants and Marginalization
- Migrants and Integration