Ottawa, December 18, 2016 – The Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; the Hon. Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today issued the following statement:
“The United Nations has designated December 18 as International Migrants Day. It is a day on which we are called to remember the rights, contributions, and needs of migrants worldwide.
“Today, more people are living away from their countries of origin than ever before. Some have moved for new opportunities and a better life for their families. Others have moved because they must, enduring the burden of dislocation. However, when supported by the right policies and inclusive approaches, the diversity that migration brings to our societies can produce economic, social, cultural and civic benefits for everyone and a chance at a new life for those who have made the journey.
“In fact, there are currently more than 244 million international migrants, creating challenges and opportunities for host countries and communities around the world.
“At the same time, there is growing xenophobia, racism and discrimination against migrants in so many parts of the world, where migration is seen more as a problem to be dealt with rather than a strength that can be harnessed. We must work harder to ensure greater respect for the human dignity and human rights of migrants.
“While every country faces unique challenges in addressing migration, we have a collective responsibility to change the perception and discourse about migrants to one that is more balanced and positive. On this day, let us all commit to work together to embrace inclusion and diversity.”