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Leave No One Behind, Count Everyone

Source: Al Jazeera The Faces behind the numbers

Today is World Population Day.

World Population Day is observed annually on 11 July to shed light on global population trends. This includes issues like the rise in displaced populations, the lack of representation of marginalised groups in global data, and the criticalness of upholding human rights. The ongoing data gaps have a profound effect on individuals and communities.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted today:

“[…], the most marginalized communities remain underrepresented in data, profoundly affecting their lives and well-being. World Population Day 2024 is a moment to ask who is still going uncounted and why – and what this costs individuals, societies, and our global efforts to leave no one behind. It is also a moment for all of us to commit to doing more to ensure that our data systems capture the full range of human diversity so that everyone is seen, can exercise their human rights and can reach their full potential.” 

With the global number of displaced individuals and refugees reaching unprecedented levels, the theme for this year's World Population Day, 'Leave No One Behind, Count Everyone,' serves as a powerful reminder of the pressing population issues.

It highlights the crucial need for host and resettlement countries to deepen their understanding of the reasons behind refugees seeking asylum and assistance. The theme emphasises the significance of valuing every individual by listening to their voices, recognising their capabilities and strengths, and meeting their specific needs.

Humanity, hope and dignity on World Population Day

In Aotearoa New Zealand, HOST works with refugee and migrant background communities and host communities on improving settlement outcomes by fostering a common sense of humanity and dignity, and a shared hope in a better future for all. Part of our work is on breaking down barriers that may exist to social, community and economic participation, with a focus on capacity building, access to information and digital inclusion as well as meaningful employment opportunities.

Our goal on World Population Day is to showcase former refugees and migrants as resilient, resourceful, skilled, and valuable individuals, much like any other New Zealanders. Former refugees and migrants enrich our communities, bringing unique experiences and knowledge that contribute significantly to our society and economy. By leveraging their entrepreneurial skills, filling labour gaps, and initiating new businesses, former refugees and migrants play a vital role in boosting productivity and fostering economic development.

Bind together the strands of humanity

World Population Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on how to advocate for current humanitarian programmes and policies that address global and national population concerns. World Population Day highlights the importance of collaborative efforts to develop effective strategies and policies for population control, fair development, and environmental preservation. Understanding our country’s demographics enables us to better meet the changing needs of our communities.

While many New Zealanders are pursuing better job prospects overseas, there has been no significant rise in meaningful employment opportunities for increasingly diverse refugee and migrant background communities.

HOST embraces diversity as a source of strength; through collaboration with former refugees and migrants, our communities can grow stronger, more knowledgeable, and more unified, leading to shared prosperity.

There are many former refugees and migrants who bring a wealth of knowledge, experiences and skills to the country.

As an individual strand, we are fragile, but as we weave strands together, we become strong. Through collective effort, we achieve goals that once seemed impossible, fostering a community where every voice is heard, and every member is valued. Our unity is a source of collective strength to build a more inclusive future together.

How can you contribute – whether as a community member, a neighbour, or an employer?

Whiria te taura here tāngata –

Bind together the strands of humanity.

Let's not just acknowledge our diverse demographics on World Population Day; let's actively embrace and support them to ensure that our workplaces and communities truly reflect and represent the diversity of our society every day.



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