Discrimination is to separate, exclude or treat someone differently on the basis of their physical characteristics, ways of thinking, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, amongst others. Discrimination is also thinking that migrants or returnees are criminals who have failed in their lives, and therefore they shouldn’t have the same rights or opportunities as the rest of the population.
At the beginning of August 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that migrant fatalities on the US-Mexico border increased by 17% during the first seven months of the year, as compared to the same period last year. That figure represents 232 migrants who lost their lives in search of better living conditions, showing us a regional example of the unfortunate consequences of migration under unsafe, disorderly and irregular conditions.
Recent events such as the Tohoku Tsunami in Japan, floods in Thailand (2011), Hurricane Sandy in the United States, and conflicts in Libya and Yemen are a few examples of crisis situations in which migrants are among the most affected populations.
In January 2016, the Government of Belize with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), held a preparatory meeting to assess the possibility to move towards the establishment of the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC), a Regional Consultative Process (RCP) in the Caribbean. The meeting was attended by representatives of eight Caribbean Governments.
It is believed that millions are currently victims of trafficking in persons around the world. It is almost impossible to think about each one of those numbers as individual human beings and it can feel like an insurmountable problem. But it isn’t. And on this World Day Against Trafficking in Persons we must believe that not only can we make a dent but that we can make significant inroads into eliminating it.