International Migrants Day: We Are One Community
By Jasmine Sutherland-Tripp
As natural as the wind that blows the tiny seeds of the common dandelion to new soils, our innate and courageous will to live a better life is perhaps best typified by the global history of migration.
Walking through the streets of East London, it is difficult to ignore the spirited expression of determination and desire to realise the journeys of those who call East London home and their influence on the area.
This year, the observance of International Migrants Day on 18 December focuses on the on the theme of “reimagining human mobility” in celebration of communities joined and remade through their mutual efforts and developments, as varied and unique as each of the 715,000 people who migrated to UK this year and the 363,000 who emigrated from it.
On the 4 December 2000, the United Nation General Assembly considered the large and increasing number of migrants in the world and proclaimed 18 December International Migrants Day. Collectively, they understood that a united approach to migration would increase the benefits whilst addressing the risks and challenges for individuals and communities in countries of origin, transit and destination .
International Migrants Day is observed in 107 countries worldwide, and as this year ends, we note the unexpected tragedies and challenges that have been faced both locally and globally. We are reminded that we must recognise the need for tolerance and understanding and unite our strengths to maintain peace, security and prosperity within our communities, protecting those who are most vulnerable.
Increasing border restrictions have greatly impacted the mobility of migrants and the role of humanitarian organisations during COVID19 with many undocumented migrants dying because they are too afraid to seek help . Not to mention the increased vulnerability of migrants under COVID19 due to their overrepresentation in low wage labour markets such as hospitality and health care as well as poverty and poor housing conditions.
As a change and place making organisation, the Foundation for Future London recognises our responsibility to amplify those unheard voices and encourage funding applications from refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants living, working or studying in Hackney, Waltham Forest, Newham and Tower Hamlets.
East London boroughs offer support services for refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. Hackney Migrant Centre offers free advice on immigration, welfare and health and well as weekly drop-in volunteer services including casework support and cooked meals. Newham’s Refugee and Migrant Project (RAMP) supports migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who are destitute or facing destitution. Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest Councils offer advice and local help on their websites.
Learn more about this year’s United Nations’ International Migrants Day “Reimagining Human Mobility” theme.