According to the United Nations, the number of migrants has increased from around 175 million in 2000 to over 245 million in 2015. About 70% of migrants live in Europe and Asia. Migration is now a common and widely distributed thing all over the world. 10% of migrants are under the age of 15. The remittance also increased significantly, reaching the 435 US mark in 2014. The United Nations predicts an upward trend in the number of international migrants. The importance, contribution, efforts and rights of the millions of international migrants cannot be ignored. To recognize and appreciate the role of migrants, the United Nations started the International Day of Migrants.
International migrants’ day background
Migrants can be found all over the world today. Migration has accelerated the growing development and the growing disparities between the different regions of the world. Migration is also accelerated by political, social and economic forces. In view of the growing migration, the United Nations General Assembly in December 4, 2000, declared December 18 as International Day of Migrants. A decade earlier, in December 18, 1990, the General Assembly adopted the “International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families”. An earlier celebration of migrants can also be traced back to 1997 when certain Asian organizations marked 18th of December as a day to recognize migrants.
Celebrating International Migrant Day
Each year, the UN encourages governments, people and organizations to observe migrant day. Organizations are encouraged to share information on the rights and fundamental freedom of migrants. Migrants are also encouraged to share their experience and take part in the design of an action plan for their protection. The common message throughout the day is “to make the voices of migrants heard”.
Various activities are organized by different organizations and communities to celebrate this day. The activities aim to raise awareness of the facts concerning migrants, the lives of migrant workers, the status of refugees, the problems of trafficking in human beings and the fight against racism. Lobby groups also use Migrant Day to put pressure on governments to examine migrant rights issues. Personalized films and documentaries on the lives of migrants are also shown in all cities.
Organizations promoting the International Day of Migrants
In addition to the United Nations, many other organizations are involved in promoting World Migrant Day. Some of these organizations include December 18, an NGO working closely with the UN to promote migrants’ rights, Radio 1812, an umbrella organization that brings together radio stations to watch the day, Amnesty International, the International Organization for migration and the National Network for immigrants and refugee rights.
Symbol of the international migratory day
There is no specific symbol for the International Day of Migrants. However, the symbol of the United Nations can be imposed on the material that promotes the day. The symbol of the United Nations depicts the globe centered on the North Pole and surrounded by an olive branch, a symbol of peace.