Preventing Exploitation of Migrants in the Horn of Africa

They couldn’t have been older than 16. Traveling on foot along a barren, dusty road toward Djibouti’s coastal city of Obock, the small group of Ethiopian boys were probably the farthest from home they had ever been. Clutching yellow jugs for water and flimsy plastic bags filled with dry meal as food, they braved exhaustion and Djibouti’s deadly summer heat, most likely hoping to make enough money in the Gulf countries or beyond to secure a more prosperous life for themselves and their families.

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International Migrants Day: Finding Solutions for Migrant Children

Sri Lankan migrant children have lunch on their boat at a port in Cilegon, Banten province, Indonesia, October 16, 2009. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Catherine Wiesner serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.

On the occasion of International Migrants Day, I wanted to share my experience from the sixth Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Port Louis, Mauritius. I led the U.S. delegation of representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, and the United States Agency for International Development, where we met with other nations under the theme of “Enhancing the Human Development of Migrants and their Contribution…more »

International Migrants Day, 2012

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 18, 2012

On this 12th International Migrants Day, the United States recognizes the more than 214 million migrants in the world today, who constitute more than three percent of the world’s population. The United States’ overarching migration mission is to protect and assist asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants, and to advance effective and humane international migration policies, in order to enhance stability and security and promote human rights. Our work through multilateral institutions, including the International Organization for Migration, and bilateral partnerships promotes international practices that respect the dignity and human rights of all migrants. In addition to engaging in multilateral policy forums, the United States plays a critical role in assisting the world’s most vulnerable migrants who have been affected by humanitarian crises.

The Secretary of State’s Global Diaspora Forum


About the Author: Kris M. Balderston serves as Special Representative for Global Partnerships.

Here are three numbers worth considering: 62,000,000, 50,000,000,000, and 1.

Sixty-two million is the number of first- and second-generation diaspora communities in America. That’s just for the first two generations — almost all Americans have immigrant roots even further back.

Fifty billion is the amount (in U.S. dollars) of recorded remittances sent from the United States by diaspora communities in 2009.

And one stands for the fact that America ranks first as host of the largest number of international migrants in the world.

These are all powerful facts and assets in achieving America’s foreign affairs goals, such as advancing the economic empowerment of women and deepening people-to-people relationships through 21st century statecraft. Diaspora communities can help us communicate with and relate to communities around the world… more »