International Migrants Day is to Let Their Voices be Heard
In 1997 various migrant organizations, particularly led by the Filipino’s, began to celebrate and promote Dec 18 as International Migrants Day.The date is significant because in 1990 the UN adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrants workers and Members of Their Families. The day is to highlight the human rights of migrants. Making migrants voices heard is the common thread throughout the International Migrants Day events.
The day is seen as an opportunity to recognize the contributions made by millions of migrants to the economies of their home and home countries, and secondly to promote respect for their basic human rights.
What do People do on International Migrants Day?
Every year the United Nations invites governments, organizations and individuals to observe this special day. This is done through the distribution of information on the human rights and migrants’ fundamental freedoms. Different organizations and communities celebrate the day providing various activities. The purpose is to alert the general public with facts about migrants, problems with human trafficking, the lives of migrant workers’ children, the plight of refugees, and ways to combat racism.
IOM, the International Organization for Migration, invites people throughout the world to hold the first global Candlelight Vigil on this day. The purpose is to commemorate the migrants whose lives have been lost this year. IOM says, “Each of them has a name, a story, and left their homelands seeking better opportunities and safety for themselves and in many cases for their families – aspirations that all of us strive for.”