International Migrants Day

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2023 Date18 December 2023
2024 Date18 December 2024

International Migrants Day

International Migrants Day in
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International Migrants Day, spearheaded by the United Nations (UN), is an annual observance highlighting the contributions and rights of individuals who have left their native countries in search of better opportunities or conditions. This global event focuses on addressing and resolving issues faced by migrants, enhancing international cooperation on migration matters, and promoting the respect for migrants’ human rights. These objectives are aligned with the principles of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that leaves no one behind, including migrants.

International Migrants Day was formally established by the UN General Assembly on December 4th, 2000 as a response to the growing number of migrants worldwide. Although migration is a global phenomenon, it holds particular significance for India. The nation has a vast emigrant population spread across various countries, notably in the Persian Gulf region and Western countries, contributing significantly to India's economy through remittances. Also, India is home to a large number of internal migrants, many of whom encounter socio-economic vulnerabilities. This day serves as an important tool to voice their concerns, reaffirm their rights and recognize their contributions to India's development.

In India, International Migrants Day is observed with activities focused on increasing awareness about the rights and concerns of migrants. Seminars, workshops, and cultural events are organized by governmental and non-governmental organizations to highlight the issues faced by the migrant communities. This day is also used to foster dialogue between the government and the public about devising policies for the welfare and integration of migrants. The observance of International Migrants Day falls on the same day globally, and in India, it is marked on the 18th of December every year. It's a crucial occasion to re-emphasize the significance of migration and the need to create supportive infrastructures for migrants in India.

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Facts about International Migrants Day

  • The theme for International Migrants Day in 2023 was Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay.
  • There are 65 million and counting refugees around the world. Most refugee are Syrian followed by Afghans, with 4.2 million and 2.6 million refugees, respectively.
  • Migrant workers in India contribute significantly to their families and communities through remittances, which are estimated to be around 11% of India's GDP. These financial transfers have a positive impact on poverty reduction, education, and healthcare in migrants' home regions.
  • A significant proportion of rural migrants in India engage in seasonal and circular migration, as they return to their villages after the harvest or move between multiple destinations to engage in diverse occupations throughout the year. This type of migration often has implications for the well-being of migrants, as they may experience unstable working conditions and lack access to social protection.

Top things to do in India for International Migrants Day

  • Since International Migrants Day is also a celebration of multiculturalism, try some food or drink from a different country. Have you tried a Cumberland sausage (UK), baklava (central Asian) or sake (Japan)? Enjoy a night out to a restaurant to enjoy different types of foods.
  • The stories and events of migration are literally world-changing. There are countless films that each tell a different story of migration through time. Some of our recommendations: The Immigrant (1917), Children of Men (2006) or The Kite Runner (2007).
  • Share migrant stories and facts about migration on social media, attend discussions and debates, and engage with friends and family to create awareness on migrant rights and the importance of celebrating the diversity that they bring to society.
  • India has a rich heritage of regional cuisines and the migrant communities have brought their unique flavors to different cities. Use this opportunity to try and taste various cuisines from different regions at local restaurants or food festivals.

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