International Migrants Day

 

Emblem of International Migrants DayIn 1997, Filipino and Asian migrant organisations began celebrating and promoting 18 December as the International Day of Solidarity with Migrants. This date was chosen because it was on 18 December 1990 that the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrants Workers and Members of Their Families (the Migrants Workers Convention). In 2000 the UN General Assembly designated 18 December of each year as International Migrant's Day.

 

The day is an opportunity to recognize the contributions made by millions of immigrants to the development and well-being of so many countries in the world, and to promote respect for the rights of immigrant workers and their families.

 

Migrants in UkraineImmigrants are often perceived as criminals, economic burdens, security threats and even risks to public health. Negative views about immigrants shape government policy and action on immigration around the world, often resulting in limited or no protection for immigrant workers and their families. The Migrant Workers Convention aims to guarantee the highest possible level of protection for the rights of migrant workers and their families.

 

Some migrants do not have permission to enter their new country and they live and work as undocumented immigrants. In the United States alone there are approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants.

 

Undocumented immigrants often live in the shadows and are at heightened risk of exploitation, discrimination and abuse. They are often denied the right to health and housing services and live and work in degrading conditions. Those who commit abuses against immigrants know that they are unlikely to be held accountable because undocumented immigrants are often reluctant to turn to the authorities, fearing that they will be arrested or deported for coming forward.

 

MigrantsThe way immigration issues are presented by politicians, public officials and the media has a significant impact on public perceptions of immigrants and their rights. Much of the public debate about immigration has been framed around issues of national security and the economy rather than the rights and contributions of immigrants.

 

Although governments have the authority to determine immigration policies, this authority cannot be exercised in a manner that perpetuates the marginalization of millions of immigrants and denies them the most basic protections due specifically to their status as non-nationals.

 

Immigration is a phenomenon, not a problem, and therefore requires not a one-time solution, but sound management and safeguards upholding the human rights and dignity of all immigrants.

 

 

Links

 

Documents on International Migration from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

 

 

Stamp catalogue - 2007

 

Bangladesh                  18 December 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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last revised: 6 July 2009