Migrants around the world must have access to life-saving assistance and protection

Geneva, December 17, 2021 – In a year marked by exacerbated difficulties due to Covid-19 and climate-related disasters, the humanitarian situation of migrants around the world has worsened, warned the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies- Rouge (IFRC) on the occasion of International Migrants Day on December 18.

Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC, said:

“2021 has been another terrible year for migrants around the world. Far too many migrants continue to face significant humanitarian needs with devastating consequences, many undertaking life-threatening journeys, others excluded from essential services and critical protection, and still more faced with hostility and exclusion in transit and destination countries. Governments have a duty to protect human dignity and save lives, and humanity must be at the center of all decisions. When did we forget this?

To date, the number of migrants has reached record highs at 281 million across the world. While many migrants are able to safely seek a better life, thousands continue to embark on dangerous and life-threatening journeys with only the clothes on their backs. In 2021 alone, more than 1,600 people are believed to have died or gone missing on the route through the central Mediterranean, and more than 1,000 in the Americas, but the real numbers would be much higher.

Climate-related disasters have already forced millions of people to flee their homes and this number is expected to continue to rise in the years to come. The socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years have also hit migrants particularly hard due to pre-existing vulnerabilities, precarious livelihoods, lack of state support as well as restrictions on movement. Migrants have also been disproportionately affected in terms of health care and lack of access to vaccines.

“All over the world, migrants face enormous risks to their lives, security, dignity, human rights and well-being. Governments should provide people on the move with access to adequate food, shelter, basic health care and legal advice on their rights, regardless of their migration status. At the same time, humanitarian organizations must be granted unconditional access to provide humanitarian assistance to all those in need ”, added President Rocca.

The IFRC network is present all over the world along migratory routes, including at sea on the world’s deadliest route in the central Mediterranean, providing humanitarian support to migrants throughout their journey – in countries of origin, transit and destination. In at least 110 countries and in a coordinated manner across borders, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies provide life-saving assistance and protection to migrants, regardless of their legal status, according to their needs. and their vulnerabilities.

“On this International Migrants Day and every day, we will continue to make the voice of migrants in vulnerable situations heard. No human being is illegal and we will not remain silent as long as their abuse continues. Now is the time for all governments to finally show humanity ”, President Rocca concluded.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

In Geneva: Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367, [email protected]

In Geneva: Ann Vaessen, +41 79 405 77 50, [email protected]

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