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UN chief calls for including migrants in every country's pandemic response
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Migrant workers clean fields in the Salinas Valley near Salinas, California, U.S., March 30, 2020. /CFP

Migrant workers clean fields in the Salinas Valley near Salinas, California, U.S., March 30, 2020. /CFP

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for ensuring that migrants, irrespective of their legal status, are included in every country's pandemic response, particularly in health and vaccination rollout programs.

"On this International Migrants Day, let us seize the opportunity of the recovery from the pandemic to implement the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, reimagine human mobility, enable migrants to reignite economies at home and abroad and build more inclusive and resilient societies," the UN chief said in a message.

In the midst of the global pandemic, societies have come to appreciate their dependence on migrants "who are too often invisible within our communities," said Guterres.

"Migrants have played an outsized role on the frontlines of responding to the crisis - from caring for the sick and elderly to ensuring food supplies during lockdowns," said Guterres, adding "Just as migrants are integral to our societies, they should remain central to our recovery."

Observed every year on December 18, the International Migrants Day was established by the UN General Assembly in December 2000, urging full respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants.

In 2019, the number of migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million, 51 million more than in 2010, according to the United Nations.

(With input from Xinhua News Agency)

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