18 December is International Migrants Day

Since December 2000 International Migrants Day has been held on 18 December, this thanks to a United Nations General Assembly decision to honour migrants.

The total number of international migrants has increased from an estimated 175 million in 2000 to 244 million in 2015.

The lure of a well-paid job in a safe environment is a powerful driver of international migration and will continue to be as income and wellness differentials among countries continue to grow.

International Migrants Day recognises that on that day in 1990, the UN General Assembly adopted the ‘International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families’.

On 19 September 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a set of commitments during its first ever summit on large movements of refugees and migrants in order to enhance the protection of migrants and refugees.

The aim of the summit was to bring countries together for a more humane and coordinated approach.

As a result, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants was born, reaffirming the importance of the international protection regime and represents a commitment by Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move.

This declaration, as well as the ongoing dialogue within the UN, has served as a catalyst to generate considerable activity on the topic of migration.

According to the UN’s website, mounting evidence indicates that international migration is “usually positive both for countries of origin and destination. Its potential benefits are larger than the potential gains from freer international trade, particularly for developing countries.”

International Migrants Day seeks to educate people about these benefits, to create a kinder, safer world for migrants, their families, and everyone else.

For more information on International Migrants Day, you can visit the United Nations' website.

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Alexander Foster Image
Alexander Foster

Alexander Foster is the Digital Communications Officer in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle