In recent years, conflict, insecurity, and the effects of climate change have contributed to the forced movement of people. In the region served by this office, millions are on the move -  7.8m million people have fled conflict in Ukraine and a further 6.5 million are displaced internally. Millions of Syrians and other continue to reside in Turkey. Other conflicts and tensions smoulder across this vast region, and thousands of people travel as irregular migrants through the western Balkans and eastern Mediterranean regions. 

Regardless of the reasons that compel people to move, migrants and displaced people represent some of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society, and are often exposed to abuse and exploitation. Many migrant workers are often in temporary, informal, or unprotected jobs, which exposes them to a greater risk of insecurity, layoffs, and poor working conditions.

Despite this, migrants have proven to be a source of prosperity, innovation, and sustainable development to countries of origin and transit, and in host countries. Their financial contribution through remittances offers a lifeline to families and spur local markets. 

Strengthening the contribution of migrants to sustainable development requires collective effort. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) offers the opportunity and guidance to actualize human mobility and seize the opportunities it presents.

On this International Migrants Day, and every day, IOM reaffirms its commitment to promoting a humane and orderly management of migration for the benefit of all.

To hear directly from people on the move, read our news and stories pages and watch these videos