Putting their stamp on International Migrants Day

KazPost stamp

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) – The UN Migration Agency together with KazPost issued a commemorative stamp dedicated to the International Migrants Day

7 December 2023, Astana – in the fields of the International Scientific and Practical Conference "Implementation of International Legal Provisions Ensuring Human Rights into National Legislation", IOM together with KazPost are issuing a commemorative stamp timed to coincide with International Migrants' Day, celebrated annually on 18 December. The event is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Human rights are  the migrants’ rights. In particular, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families emphasizes the rights of migrants to freedom of movement, religion, expression, protection of private property and security, protection from forced labor, regardless of country of destination and origin.

Due to the persistent lack of safe and regular migration pathways, millions of people continue to embark on dangerous journeys every year. Since 2014, more than 50,000 migrants have lost their lives on migration routes around the world. In the first three months of 2023, more than 441 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek asylum in Europe. Many migrant workers often work in temporary, informal or insecure jobs, putting them at greater risk of insecurity, layoffs and poor working conditions. Many become victims of human trafficking

Migrants are also facing the threat posed by climate change. The World Bank estimates that in 2050, climate change will force about 216 million people around the world to leave their place of residence. Pockets of internal climate migration could form as early as 2030, and this dynamic is expected to continue until 2050.

Migrants are agents of sustainable development and innovation. Their financial contribution through remittances cannot be overestimated, especially in low- and middle-income countries, and their role in the labor market remains the most significant. Their knowledge, networks and skills have contributed greatly to the development of resilient communities.  Remittances from migrant workers is a lifeline for people in low- and middle-income countries. The World Bank forecasts that remittances to low- and middle-income countries will increase by 1.4 per cent to about $656 billion in 2023. By region, remittance inflows increased in East Asia and the Pacific by 0.7 per cent (to $130 billion) and in Europe and Central Asia by 19 per cent (to $79 billion). The top five remittance-receiving countries in 2022 were India ($111 billion), Mexico ($61 billion), China ($51 billion), the Philippines ($38 billion), and Pakistan ($30 billion).  Average remittances in Kazakhstan for the third quarter of 2023 amounted to 72.82 billion tenge ($154.1 million), down 22.3 percent from 94.6 billion tenge ($198.5 million) in the same quarter of 2022.

The total volume of remittances sent from Kazakhstan decreased compared to the previous year, except for remittances sent to the Russian Federation (24.6 per cent growth) and Georgia (59.7 per cent growth). In the first case, the trend persists due to the Ukrainian crisis and intensification of social and trade relations between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. The increase in remittances to Georgia is due to the overall increase in bilateral trade turnover for the first half of 2023 by 30 per cent.

IOM thanks governmental partners, civil society and especially KazPost for their continued cooperation and contribution to advancing IOM's mission. The postage stamp commemorating International Migrants Day, celebrated annually on December 18, the day the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers was adopted, is a symbolic contribution to building a just and safe society for both host communities and migrants and their families. The initiative has been generously supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).