International Migrants Day - December 18

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On December 18, the international community recognizes and celebrates the rights of migrants around the world. On December 18, 1990 the UN General Assembly approved the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (commonly referred to as the Migrant Worker’s Convention or Migrant Rights Convention).

The Convention affirms the human rights of all migrants, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, and recognizes that migrants are men, women, children, and families – not just economic commodities. A decade later, the United Nations officially designated December 18 as International Migrants Day. In 2003, the Convention "entered into force"; today, 45 countries have ratified or acceded to the Convention.

International Migrants Day is a day when we can express our support and solidarity with all immigrants. In a period when economic crises have stirred anxieties about immigration and when unjust policies and public discrimination against immigrants have intensified, we call for respect, tolerance, and justice for all immigrants, regardless of their status. December 18 provides an opportunity to highlight important issues affecting immigrant communities. It also serves as a reminder of the rights guaranteed to all migrants by the Migrant Workers Convention, and the need for all nations, including the U.S., to ratify and adopt its standards.

How can organizations recognize International Migrants Day?

  • Hold a press conference, public forum, or community workshop around a current campaign or on immigrant and human rights.
  • Speak with local public officials about just immigration reform, immigration enforcement, and the human rights of immigrants.
  • Ask your local and state government representatives and bodies to recognize International Migrants Day with resolutions and declarations of support. (Download 'resolution tip sheet')
  • Issue an organizational statement on International Migrants Day; collect contributions to place an ad in your local newspaper about immigrant rights.
  • Screen films and documentaries about human rights.
  • Host a fundraiser, house party, “posada”, or other celebration for your organization.

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