International Migrants Day 2021: Message from the Secretary General of UCLG Africa

Every year on 18 December, the United Nations celebrates the International Migrants Day.

As every year since the last 4 years, UCLG Africa takes this opportunity to remind the world of the commitment of the local government of Africa to the respect of the rights of these millions of people who have left their city, their country, their continent, by choice or by constraint, in the hope of finding better opportunities and living conditions.

The last two years have been particularly challenging for migrants: the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed most of them to health risks, and measures by public authorities in different countries have rarely concerned migrant people. The economic and social difficulties linked to the pandemic have made the life of migrant populations even more difficult, with a rise in xenophobic feelings and rejection of migrants in most of the host countries, and particularly in developed countries.

On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, UCLG Africa reiterates its call to African local governments to adhere to the Charter of African Local Governments on Migration and to join the African Network of Cities for Migration.

UCLG Africa calls on local authorities of African cities and territories to advocate with national governments for the expansion of the competences and means of local authorities in the management of migration.

UCLG Africa urges national governments to work towards the realization of the provisions of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and make migrants full citizens.

UCLG Africa asks the local and regional authorities to be exemplary in the field of the reception of migrants and the protection of their rights, as well as to put in place mechanisms to promote the integration of migrants within the host societies and communities.

UCLG Africa ardently wishes that the day of 18 December be used everywhere to celebrate the undeniable contribution of migrants to the cultural diversity of the territories, to the dissemination of knowledge and know-how, and to the promotion of conviviality between human groups, a sine qua non condition for the emergence of a world of peace and concord.

The Secretary General,