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December 18 is International Migrant Day

This month celebrates International Migrants Day on December 18, commemorating the day in 1990 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The tradition began after Filipino and other Asian migrant communities began using the day to celebrate international solidarity with migrants. Building on this, other migrant rights groups began campaigning for an official day of recognition for the community, and in 2000 the UN officially proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants Day.

Since 2000, the day has been used to focus attention towards the issues faced by migrants all over the world. Every year, increasing numbers of organizations have commemorated this day with events and calls to action. One organization in particular is December 18, a migrant rights organization, which produces an annual radio program, bringing migrant voices from all over the world together into a day-long radio program. Last year, 175 radio stations from 48 countries participated in the program, which celebrated the contributions of migrants, as well as opinion pieces from international experts, and interviews with various UN representatives. To find a radio station in your area, hear clips from last year’s program, or stream the program online, visit the Radio 1812 website.

Currently there are more people living in countries other than that of their origin than ever before –a staggering 214 million. In his opening remarks at the Global Forum on Migration and Development this year, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reminded all of us that, “As we look to these challenges, we recognize that in many ways, migration is not just a journey of people – it is a journey of policy… Our destination is a global system of mobility that allows people to move in legal, safe and orderly ways – with full respect for their dignity.” Global Workers will work hard in this new year to move us closer to the goal of global mobility set by the Secretary General. On December 18, please take a moment to remember migrants and their daily struggle for full dignity.

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