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UN Secretary General warns against countries that block migration

UN Secretary General warns against countries that block migration”

Governments that crack down on migrants are only harming themselves, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Thursday ahead of UN talks on a global response to migration boycotted by the United States.

Globally, migrants make a major contribution to worldwide development - both by their work as well as through remittances back to their home countries. In 2017 alone, migrants sent home approximately $600 billion in remittances, which is three times all official development assistance.

Throughout the world, migration is still poorly managed: this is demonstrated by the humanitarian crises that affect people in the movement and the human rights violations suffered by those living in slavery or in conditions of labor exploitation, he complained.

"Authorities that erect major obstacles to migration - or place severe restrictions on migrants' work opportunities - inflict needless economic self-harm", Guterres said.

"As they impose barriers to having their labour needs met in an orderly, legal fashion, worse still, they unintentionally encourage illegal migration".

The best way to end the stigma of illegality and abuse around migrants, he added, is for governments to put in place more legal pathways for migration as well as for development cooperation policies to take human mobility into account.

The report offers suggestions for Member States to frame an action-oriented global compact, addressing aspects of migration from the subnational to the global level and a specific strategy for responding to large movements of migrants.

Next month, United Nations member states will discuss ways in which to encourage governments to offer more legal venues for migrants.

The global compact will be adopted in December at a conference in Morocco.

"Unlike the refugee issue, "there is no centralized capacity at the United Nations to manage migration" and the United Nations approach remains" fragmented" on this matter, stressed Antonio Guterres.

"Fair migration laws, fairly applied, benefit all: they increase predictable and orderly outcomes for States, safe and inclusive environments for both migrants and their host communities", she said.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the contributions of migrants around the world and called for the development of worldwide policies that protect them and guarantee safe journeys.

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