UN Secretary General says refugees and immigrants are assets - Refugee Council
December 18, 2002

UN Secretary General says refugees and immigrants are assets

At least 175 million people live outside their countries of birth and the vast majority are an asset to society, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has said.

In a message to mark International Migrants Day today, Annan said: ” Immigrants and refugees should not –- and must not -– be seen as a burden. Those who risk their lives and those of their families are often those with the greatest ambition to make a better life for themselves, and they are willing to work for it. They do not leave their familiar surroundings, their culture or their families for a life of dependence, crime or discrimination thousands of kilometres away. They merely want a safer, more prosperous future for their children. If they are given a chance to make the most of their abilities, on an equal basis, the vast majority of them will be assets to society”.

Read Kofi Annan’s statement on the UN’s website.