December 18th

International Migrants Day -

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On the 18th of December each year, we honor and acknowledge the immense contributions and efforts of millions of migrants around the world by celebrating International Migrants Day. This day serves not just as a celebration but also as a poignant reminder of the fundamental human rights that must be accorded to these global citizens.

International Migrants Day seeks to heighten understanding and awareness about the complexities of international migration and accentuate the necessity for strategic policies for managing it effectively.

History of International Migrants Day

International Migrants Day can trace its origins to the 20th century when, on December 18, 1990, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW) was approved by the United Nations General Assembly. Although it’s not among the most ratified UN conventions, it provides an important framework for migrant workers’ rights.

Marking the anniversary of this momentous day, the UN, on December 4, 2000, designated December 18th as International Migrants Day. This day honors approximately 281 million migrants globally, many of whom have been displaced by socio-political circumstances or economic factors.

Furthermore, it accentuates the challenges migrants often face, such as dangerous travels, family separation, discrimination, and lack of access to human rights and essential services.

Over the years, International Migrants Day has prompted numerous initiatives like the International Trade Union Confederation’s 2011 ‘It’s time for a fair deal for migrants’ campaign, and a specific goal concerning safe and responsible migration within the post-2015 UN development framework.

Various activities mark this day: there are communication campaigns, debates, human rights workshops, and film screenings to increase our understanding of migrant experiences and their input to host countries.

International Migrants Day Timeline

Establishment of UNHCR

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) was created in December 1950 to address the refugee crisis following World War II.

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers

The UN General Assembly adopted an agreement for the protection of all migrant workers and their families.

Establishment of International Migrants Day

The UN proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants Day.

First High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development

The United Nations held the first high-level dialogue on International Migration and Development in September 2006.

Global Migration Trends

An international report indicated that, for the first time in history, the number of international migrants reached 244 million.

Global Compact for Migration

The United Nations adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration.

Ideas to Celebrate International Migrants Day

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Cultural Exchange Fair

Organize a cultural exchange fair where migrants can set up stalls showcasing their country's unique crafts, food, and art. This can serve as a platform to celebrate the rich diversity migrants bring into the host country.

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Documentary Screening

Screen documentaries that portray the experiences of migrants. These can serve as eye-opening narratives about the realities migrants face.

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Community Outreach

Encourage local communities to participate in outreach programs to assist migrants, like language classes or job skill workshops. This can promote inclusivity and understanding.

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Art Exhibition

Organize an art exhibition where migrant artists can display their work. This can help migrants share their stories and experiences through art.

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Multicultural Potluck

Organize a multicultural potluck where everyone brings a dish from their own culture. This can encourage sharing and celebrating of different cultural cuisines.

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Language Exchange

Set up a language exchange program where migrants and locals can teach each other their native languages. This can encourage communication and understanding between different cultures.

6 Interesting Facts About International Migrants Day


Historical Significance

December 18 was chosen as it marks the day in 1990 when the General Assembly of United Nations adopted the international convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and their families.


Promote Diversity and Respect

The day also serves as an opportunity to promote diversity and respect for the dignity of every individual.


Global Migration Trend Report

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) usually releases a Global Migration Trend report on December 18th.


Raising Awareness

Many events and activities are held worldwide to raise awareness about the challenges and difficulties migrants face.


Migrants Right to Life

On International Migrants Day, the UN sends out a reminder that regardless of their status, migrants have a right to life, security, free speech, fair voting practices where they live.


Approximate Global Migrant Count

Today, there are over 281 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth, according to UN.

International Migrants Day FAQs

Next International Migrants Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 December 18th Monday
2024 December 18th Wednesday
2025 December 18th Thursday
2026 December 18th Friday
2027 December 18th Saturday
What is the pattern? Every December 18th

International Migrants Day Word Search

  • Migrants
  • Passport
  • Diversity
  • Globalization
  • Homeland
  • Multicultural