Australia is a country of migrants. It is both one of the oldest, yet one of the newest countries in the world. Australia was settled by Aborigines 60,000 years ago, yet white men only settled here less than 250 years ago. Migration is the key to Australia’s success.
Today we celebrate International Migrants Day.
There are currently over 258 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth, and this figure is only expected to grow. As it becomes a more important issue, migration also draws an ever-increasing amount of attention. The challenges and difficulties of international migration are complex and wide-ranging, and addressing them requires compassion and cooperation between countries and regions.
Migrants play a vital role in the global economy, bringing growth and innovation to the countries they move to. For example, although they make up less than 15 percent of the population, skilled immigrants account for over half of Silicon Valley start-ups and over half of patents.
The movement of people, particularly with the effects of climate change on the horizon, will become more and more intense over the next 20-30 years. We owe it to the world to treat migrants humanely, fairly, and with the same level of compassion that we treat everybody homegrown.
Check out this video by the International Organization for Migration, that explores what a day without migrants might look like.