International Migrants Day [18th December]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 25, 2022, 9:30

Designated by the United States, December 18 is International Migrants Day which marks the importance of protecting the rights of migrants all over the world. 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 - History & Significance

Several factors contribute to the movement of people away from their homes. World 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 in a bid to escape being controlled by the ruthless administration.

If the estimates of the United Nations are to be believed, almost 281 million people migrated in the last year alone, representing close to 4% of the world's population.

In 1999, the UN general assembly hosted the first convention for the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families. On the 4th of December in 2000, the decision to observe 18th December as International Migrants Day was taken owing to the rising numbers of migrants. The growing phenomenon became recognized as World 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 for strengthening international cooperation on a regional and global scale.

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International Migrants Day Theme

The theme of World Migration Day in 2021 was ‘Harnessing the potential of human mobility, which the United Nations announced. 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.

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International Migrants Day Importance

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 challenges and opportunities present globally regarding the mobility of the people who need to migrate. It is believed that such decisions 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.

The onset of promotion of 18th December as World Migration Day had started in 1997 when several migrant organizations began celebrating the day in solidarity with migrants, influenced by the international convention of the UN.

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FAQs on International Migrants Day

Q 1: Mention some global actions to celebrate International Migrants Day.

Several events are held on 18th December- the International Migrants Day, to make the voice of migrants heard. On this day, the gala final of the Global Migration film festival is also held.

Q 2: What is the role of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in the context of International Migrants Day?

In the context of the International Migrants Day, the IOM is responsible for assisting millions of migrants ever since its emergence about 70 years ago. It helped many Europeans who were displaced after World War II.

Q 3: As per the findings of International Migrants Day, are there any benefits of migration?

As per studies on International Migrants Day, it has been found that migrants help bring growth and innovation to the countries they come from and the countries they move to.

Q 4: What is the role of GCM in International Migrants Day?

The GCM agreement covers all major dimensions of International Migrants Day that offer opportunities for human mobility and benefits from the opportunities it presents.

Q 5: Is International Migrants Day celebrated on the same day each year?

Yes, International Migrants Day is commemorated on 18th December each year.