Today, 18 December, marks International Migrants Day, aimed at recognising the extensive contributions of migrants to the world.
Globally, around 272 million people are migrants. International Migrants Day, which falls on 18 December every year to commemorate the adoption by the United Nations (UN) of its International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families on 18 December 1990, aims to highlight the benefits migrants offer their host communities; as well as drawing attention to the particular challenges they face.
In a joint statement, the European Commission and the High Representative said: ‘Throughout its history, the European continent has been shaped, and continues to be shaped, by migration. Some people move in search of safety, new opportunities or a chance to reinvent themselves. Others are forced to escape conflict, persecution or environmental destruction. All migrants are entitled to the equal protection of their dignity and human rights. On International Migrants Day, we stand strong in our unequivocal commitment to respect and protect the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants as well as to ensure that migration takes place in a safe, orderly and well-managed way.’
The theme of International Migrants Day 2019 is social cohesion, celebrating the integration of migrants into communities around the world. The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) says: ‘From the Syrian barber plying his trade in Turkey, to the classical musicians from Venezuela performing with peers in their Dominican Republic orchestra, we witness the promise that is released when migration is well-managed and handled with dignity for all. We see what comes from the syntheses borne by new arrivals adapting to traditions in their new communities. We see those communities flourishing as locals welcome the new into their midst…[t]he International Organization for Migration salutes migrants and the communities they join, the communities they remake through their mutual effort. We salute them and we support them, and pledge to make the future we believe is arriving for all of us.’