FARE celebrates International Migrants Day18 December 2012

FARE today celebrates the UN International Migrants Day which is held annually on the 18th December to recognise the efforts, contributions and rights of migrants worldwide. Joining the fight for human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, FARE supports the wider call for equality by demanding better access for migrants to sport in their country of residence. We reiterate our belief that mass participation sports such as football can contribute to the wellbeing and integration of migrants and should not be the settings for discrimination and prejudice. ‘We salute migrants’ Ike Chime, a member of the FARE Board and President of Finnish NGO Liikkukaa!, commented, “We salute all of those migrants who are striving to build new lives and contribute to the society. “As a migrant to Europe myself I understand the journey many people make between and within continents, and the multiple exclusions that takes place. “FARE will continue to make our contribution to the fight for equality, using the power of sport to underline the value of diversity and challenge inequality.” According to researchers, in the past 30 years, the number of international migrants has increased from 75 million to about 200 million; migrants can be found in every part of the world. Migration is likely to increase even further due to growing developmental and democratic inequalities that exist between regions of the world. Migrants make positive contributions to the development of a diverse society. They bring their knowledge and culture to the country of destination. However in many places of the world migrants face exclusion and discrimination on a daily basis. In a time of global economic and financial distress, discrimination against migrant workers, xenophobic incidents and far-right parties are on the rise. Sport excludes through regulations Regulatory restrictions often exclude migrants from participating in sport. In some European countries non-nationals are not allowed to take part in amateur association football and are forced to form their own separate teams. Better access to football for migrants is crucial to combat social exclusion and help new arrivals to settle in the country of destination.