The Migration program of the UNAOC promotes efforts to harmonize the coexistence between newcomers and host communities worldwide. This is seen as critical in improving social cohesion and intercultural relations, and in shifting popular perceptions of migration –from threat to opportunity.
Along with faster flows of goods and information, increases in migration of diverse peoples across the globe have led to the makeup of rich and diverse societies. But migration is too often perceived as a threat to prosperity and identity. Linking migration to security concerns has in turn lead to suspicion and hostility between groups.
Poorly integrated migrant communities can give way to feelings of alienation, resentment, and a tendency toward extremism. But well-integrated migrant communities have a unique insight into cultural diversity and are very qualified to help improve inter-cultural understanding and cooperation across diverse populations.
Perceptions and treatment of migrants by the countries they adopt as their homes determine in large measure the success of their integration and the contributions they will make to their new country. Policymakers must take this into account so as to respond effectively to negative public perceptions of immigration, addressing fears and hostility against immigrants without falling into populist scapegoating and allowing intolerance to grow.