International Migrants Day - December 18


On December 18, the international community recognizes and celebrates the rights of migrants around the world. This year, 2019, marks the 29th anniversary of the UN's 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). It was approved by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 18, 1990.

Statement from UN Secretary General

Statement from Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Statement from Felipe Gonzalez Morales, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants

Let's honor International Migrants Day with a call to action to lift up and respect human rights of all migrants, and to commit to challenge and end all forms of racism and xenophobia. 2019 was another horrific year in terms of the increased flow of migrants "in vulnerable situations" and the rise of hateful, anti-immigrant rhetoric and actions. We continue to call for the recognition and respect and human rights at international borders, and urge an immediate end to the detention of migrant children and families.

Last year, in December 2018, 164 countries approved the new UN "Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration" in Marrakech, Morocco. Let's make this moment a TURNING POINT against racism and xenophobia and towards the fulfillment of human rights and a life of safety and dignity for all migrants, regardless of their migration status. (The United States had withdrawn from the Compact negotiation process the previous year).

You can see more information on the issue of border justice here. Go here to learn more about the international initiative to recognize human rights at international borders.

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. In 2003, the Convention "entered into force"; today, 55 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 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.
  • Join us! Every year on Dec. 18 we do a global TWEET STORM! #IMD2019 #MigrantRightsNow @NNIRRNetwork
  • 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.

Useful Links and Resources: