We make choices everyday: what to eat, where to sleep, what to study. But when people are forced to flee, these ordinary, everyday choices are suddenly removed.
No matter the specific situation, all people on the move deserve to be treated and talked about with dignity. This means addressing the root causes of why people are leaving, and supporting people to migrate with safety and dignity.
Why do people move?
Food shortage, environmental disaster, climate change, poverty and conflict push people to move. Land, resources, jobs, family, health and education pull people to move.
People move voluntarily, a choice made after weighing the pros and cons (migrants).
People move involuntarily, forced by violence, persecution and human trafficking (refugees).
4 out of 5 displaced peoples are living in countries neighbouring their home, with few prospects of returning.
An international migrant is someone has chosen to live outside their country of birth. While refugees are forced to flee their homes because of violence and conflict, migrants often travel along the same paths and face the same challenges as refugees. Today, there are 258 million migrants worldwide, which is separate from the number of refugees.
Canada has an important role to play in addressing the reasons people are forced to leave home in the first place. Conflict, climate crisis and economic factors are all part of the factors that cause people to flee or face dangerous journeys. We can encourage the Canadian government to implement policies that protect all, and allow everyone to choose when to leave home.
One way to do so is to increase support for grassroots peacebuilding around the world. Peacebuilding can prevent, reduce or stop violence, and improve relationships between people and those with authority and power. Local initiatives are essential to creating lasting peace and addressing some of the root causes of forced migration.
Migration should be a choice, not a last resort.
Take action today
Did you know that one of the ways MCC works at relief, development and peace is through advocacy to government?
We believe that advocacy can be part of making the world a better place and that we are called to act and work together for change! We base our advocacy on what we hear from workers and partners carrying out relief, development and peace work around the world. Their voices shape our message to governments.
In order to do our work, it’s important that MCC addresses policies that contribute to poverty and injustice. Advocacy is how we do that.