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By Michel Veuthey

20 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly established the 18th of December as “The International Migrants Day.” Today safe migration and more generally, human mobility are more pressing issues than ever.

Covid-19 exacerbates pre-existing issues and poses new threats to people on the move.

The care for migrants is a priority for the Order of Malta. The Order of Malta is present along their journey – in countries of origin, at the borders, and in host countries and final destinations – assisting refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants in approximately 30 countries across the globe. In various European countries, the Order of Malta is developing legal, psychosocial and medical assistance programmes for migrants and asylum seekers. There are also specific courses to aid integration and learning of the local culture and language.

Migrants are especially vulnerable to human trafficking. The Order of Malta participates in preventing and combating human trafficking by raising awareness about this contemporary scourge (see:, by sharing best practices (see: and promoting action (with an online course for helpers:

The “International Migrants Day” is commemorated one week after the anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and it should help us realize the importance of ensuring the protection of fundamental human rights to all, migrants, communities of origin, communities of transit and communities of destination. This is not only a legal and humanitarian issue, it is also a question of security: security of migrants, security of communities, nations, regions, as well as security of humankind as a whole.

Michel Veuthey. Ambassador of the Order of Malta to monitor and combat human trafficking

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