International Migrants Day is celebrated annually on 18 December with an aim to draw focus towards the social and economic conditions of migrants all across the globe. This day also ensures that the’ rights of the migrants are not violated. The day assumes significance as migration is a global phenomenon where a number of factors determine the movement of people.
The estimated number of international migrants have increased over the past five decades. As per the World Migration Report 2022, 281 million people are international migrants living in a country other than their place of birth. Migration may happen due to a number of reasons including conflicts, diseases, disasters, climate change and a number of other reasons that force them to migrate.
The United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2000, took into account the large and increasing number of migrants all over the world, and proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day. In 1990, the UNGA adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.
On 14 and 15 September 2006, the 132 Member States took part in the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development which was held in the General Assembly. The focus was to reaffirm a number of key messages which underscored that international migration was a growing phenomenon and that it could have a positive contribution in the development of countries of origin and countries of destination. For this, the right policies are supposed to be in place. The day emphasises that migrants’ fundamental rights and freedom should be respected and international cooperation on the issue of migration should be strengthened.
The day plays an important role in and has an impact on the movement of people due to voluntary or forced movements because of environmental issues including disaster and poverty. The day aims to educate the public on the issues concerning migrants, mobilise political will and resources to address the global issue of migration, and to draw focus towards the rights of the migrants. In today’s world, Migration day draws attention towards the difficulties and challenges faced by migrants. It emphasises cooperation and collective action from countries around the world.
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