Honoring International Migrants Day

U.S. State Department

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary

December 17, 2021

Press Release

On December 18, International Migrants Day, we recognize the rights, contributions, and struggles of migrants, and reiterate the United States’ commitment to support safe, orderly, and humane migration around the world. Through regional partnerships created by the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration with international humanitarian partners like the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as close coordination with governments throughout the world, we are working to enhance cooperation and migration management, to protect migrants in situations of vulnerability, and to address the root causes of irregular migration.

In its World Migration Report 2022, the IOM estimates that there were almost 281 million international migrants in 2020, which equates to 3.6 percent of the total global population. The United States underscores the need to discourage irregular migration, which exposes migrants to dangerous smuggling operations and trafficking in persons.  At the same time, we encourage governments to improve access to international protection screening, strengthen their asylum capacity, identify and assist victims of trafficking in persons, support returning migrants’ reintegration, and expand alternative legal pathways.  Many migrants have faced tremendous hardships or lost their lives in dangerous irregular journeys across the Mediterranean, the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, the Red Sea, the Darien Gap, and desert conditions near our own southwest border.  Instability, economic hardship, and climate change are all factors that can push people into taking these dangerous journeys.

The United States recognizes that to achieve safe, orderly, and humane migration, we need comprehensive regional and global plans that address these complex issues. In July, the United States released its Collaborative Migration Management Strategy, as well as a Strategy to Address the Root Causes of Migration in Central America.   The United States is the largest single donor to IOM and in Fiscal Year 2021 provided more than $25 million to support regional migration programs.  Managing the unprecedented level of migration in the Western Hemisphere is a shared responsibility, and we continue to encourage governments and partners in the region to join us on a bold new regional approach on migration and protection.

In honor of International Migrants Day, today we released our revised U.S. national statement on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). We endorse the vision of the GCM and commit to working with countries to enhance cooperation and manage migration in ways that are safe, orderly and humane.

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