International Day of Family Remittances

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2024 Date16 June 2024
2025 Date16 June 2025

International Day of Family Remittances

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International Day of Family Remittances History

The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) is a global observance highlighting the significant impact of financial contributions made by migrant workers to their families and communities. By sending portions of their earnings back home, these individuals play a vital role in driving economic growth, reducing poverty, and improving the overall well-being of millions around the world. The observance focuses on acknowledging their invaluable efforts, raising awareness about the benefits of remittances, and promoting policies to enhance their positive effects.

The United Nations General Assembly first proclaimed the IDFR on 16 June 2018 in response to the financial contributions and sacrifices made by 200 million migrants across the world, benefitting nearly 800 million family members. The United Kingdom is home to many migrants that consistently contribute to both the UK economy and their countries of origin through remittance payments. The International Day of Family Remittances holds particular relevance in the UK, as it seeks to foster empathy and understanding for the struggles migrant workers often face, while urging policymakers to reduce transaction costs and improve access to financial services for those sending money overseas.

On the International Day of Family Remittances, organisations and institutions across the UK partake in various activities and events to celebrate the contributions of migrant workers and encourage greater support for their financial inclusion. These may include educational seminars, policy discussions, and promotional content highlighting the importance of remittances in global development. Across the nation, people are encouraged to learn about the positive effects of remittances in advancing education, healthcare, and infrastructure in developing nations, and how UK-based migrant workers are making a difference. The observance takes place annually on the 16th of June, bringing together policymakers, migrant workers, and the general public to recognise the integral part remittances play in forging a better future for countless families around the world.

Facts about Family Remittances

  • In countries such as Tonga, Kyrgyz Republic, and Haiti, remittances can make up more than a quarter of the GDP each year.
  • Global remittances inflows are expected to grow by 2.0% in 2023.
  • Family remittances are closely linked to migration patterns. The financial support provided through remittances can incentivize migration, as individuals seek better economic opportunities abroad to support their families back home.
  • The United Kingdom is one of the largest sources of remittance outflows in the world, with migrants sending billions of pounds to their families in home countries each year. According to the World Bank, the UK sent remittances worth about $26.8 billion in 2020.
  • The top recipients of remittances from the UK include India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China.

Top things to do in the UK for this observance

  • Watch the IFAD's 2020 International Day of Family Remittances video if you missed it.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about family remittances in the United Kingdom. Here are our recommendations:
    1. The Migrant Business (2016) - This Al Jazeera documentary explores the political and economic realities behind the UK's strict migration policies, undocumented migrants, and remittance flows.
    2. Dollar Heroes: North Korea's Secret Slaves (2018) - This Al Jazeera documentary exposes North Korean workers who are sent abroad and forced to remit much of their earnings back to the regime, the UK is one of the countries investigated in this documentary.
    3. Everyday Borders (2015) by Orson Nava - This documentary examines the impact of UK's immigration policies on everyday life and the people who must enforce it, including the role of remittances.
  • Read a book to learn more about family remittances in the United Kingdom. Here are our top picks:
    1. Migrant Remittances and Development in the Global Economy by Manuel Orozco – This book discusses the role of migrant remittances in the global economy, offering insights into the factors influencing family remittances and their effects on the UK economy.
    2. Remittance Flows in the United Kingdom by the World Bank – This report outlines the trends, patterns, and policy implications of remittance flows in the UK, addressing remittances sent to origin countries and the framework used to monitor and regulate these flows.

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