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.