International Migrants Day

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 8, 2023, 17:58

Designated by the United Nations General Assembly, 18 December is observed as International Migrants Day to highlight the socio-economic contributions of migrants and also the challenges they face. This day is celebrated on a global level, with 500 countries participating. International Migrants Day is about giving representation to the migrant population, which makes up around 3.6% of the world's total population.

International Migrants Day was officiated on 18 December 1990, after the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. To know more about the history, theme, and significance of the day, read the information below.

International Migrants Day 2023

Each year, millions of people have to move away from their place of origin to a new region. Out of the total world population, 3.6% of people constitute the migrant population. International Migrants Day is celebrated to represent these migrants, amplify their struggles, and highlight their socio-economic-cultural contribution. This day is about expressing solidary towards the migrant movement.

Migrants Day gives an opportunity to the global migrant population to make their voices heard. Get a brief overview of this day from the table given here:

Event Name

International Migrants Day

Celebrated On

18 December (every year)

Established By

United Nations General Assembly


To highlight the contribution of the migrant population and to amplify their struggles.

International Migrants Day 2022 Theme

Each year, Migrants Day is celebrated on a specific theme. The theme has not been shared yet for the current year, but it is expected to be announced shortly. The theme is announced by the United Nations every year.

The International Migration Day theme 2021 was "Harnessing the potential of human mobility." Highlighting the significance of migration, the United Nations has said that migrants contribute to building stronger and more resilient communities by sharing their knowledge and skills and taking it across boundaries.

Migrants Day History

The origin of 18 December being observed as Migrants Day can be traced back to 1997 when several migrant organizations began celebrating the day in solidarity with migrants, influenced by the international convention of the UN.

International Migrants Day was established on 18 December 1990 by the United Nations when the General Assembly officially passed the resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Subsequently, this day started being observed as a special day in many countries:

  • Asian and Filipino migrants began observing 18 December as the International Day of Solidarity with Migrants.
  • In 1999, the UN General Assembly officially hosted
  • the first convention for the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families. On 4 December 2000, the decision to observe 18 December as International Migrants Day was taken owing to the rising numbers of migrants.
  • The growing phenomenon became recognized as International Migration Day amid many dialogues and discussions at the general assembly.
  • Backed by many policies and resolutions, it was finally decided to commemorate International Migrants Day to strengthen international cooperation on a regional and global scale.

Significance of International Migrants Day

Several factors contribute to the movement of people away from their homes. International Migration Day recognizes reasons such as economic challenges of a country, increased frequency of disasters, and conflicts or poverty. Very recently, when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, an exodus of people was seen migrating from the nation to escape being controlled by the ruthless administration. Here is why International Migrants Day is significant:

  • Migrant movement can influence the economic and global social landscape to a large extent. The GCM (Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration) is the first inter-government agreement to oversee all dimensions of migration.
  • Migrants Day gives the migrant population of the world visibility and amplifies their struggle.
  • This day motivates world leaders to contribute to making the migrant movement smooth.
  • In cases across the globe, many people are forced to shift from their homeland by coercion or have to move away from their land voluntarily. International Migrants Day is a day to demand the protection of migrants' rights.

International Migrants Day Celebration

As per the estimation by the United Nations, almost 281 million people migrated in the last year alone, representing close to 4% of the world's population. According to the findings of the United Nations, it is important to nurture migrant communities across all countries. Consequently, it has taken several impactful decisions to address the global challenges and opportunities regarding the mobility of the people who need to migrate.

Migrants Day is celebrated in the following ways:

  • On the occasion of International Migrants Day, people from all over the world attend events, conferences, and seminars that discuss the global migrant movement.
  • It is a day to extend support to migrants all over the world by donating to relief organizations or by amplifying the challenges that they face.
  • Share the Migrants Day celebration on social media by participating in online campaigns, etc.

Important Current Affairs Topics

International Astronomy DayInternational Civil Aviation Day
International Customs DayInternational Dance Day
International Day Against Nuclear TestsInternational Day For Abolition Of Slavery
International Day For Disaster Risk ReductionInternational Day For Mine Awareness And Assistance In Mine Action
International Day For Rural WomenInternational Day For The Elimination Of Racial Discrimination

FAQs on International Migrants Day

Q1. When is International Migrants Day celebrated?

International Migrants Day is celebrated every year on 18 December. This day highlights the contribution of migrants. Migrants Day is also an opportunity for migrants to share their struggles with the world.

Q2. What is the International Migrants Day theme in 2022?

The International Migrants Day 2022 theme has not been shared yet. The last year's Migrants Day theme 2021 was "Harnessing the potential of human mobility." This theme emphasized on the importance of tapping into the potential that global migrants bring.

Q3. Why is International Migrants Day celebrated?

International Migrants Day is celebrated as an annual observance to give global migrants the recognition that they deserve. It is a day to share their stories of challenges and how they overcome them.

Q4. When was International Migrants Day first celebrated?

International Migrants Day was first announced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1990. However, the official Migrants Day was celebrated in 1997 for the first time. Since then, 18 December has been celebrated as Migrants Day each year.