"Migration is a powerful driver of economic growth, dynamism and understanding. It allows millions of people to seek new opportunities, benefiting communities of origin and destination alike." — UN Secretary-General António Guterres
In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly declared 18 December as International Migrants Day, marking a day every year to reflect on the role of migrants in our societies, their positive contributions and the challenges they face in achieving their full potential and capabilities. This day is also a reminder that human rights are not ‘earned’ by virtue of being a hero or a victim, but are an entitlement of everyone, regardless of origin, age, gender and status.
- International Migrants Day 2021
This past year has demonstrated how communities can support each other through life-altering moments: from the Covid-19 pandemic that highlighted the role played by migrants in key sectors such as the healthcare and other essential services, to the pivotal role played by UK based organizations and the Afghan diaspora in supporting the evacuation and reception of refugees fleeing from a deteriorating situation in their country. Migrants contribute their knowledge, networks, skills and stories to help build stronger, more resilient communities. At the same time however, racism and xenophobia continue to pose a threat to the social cohesion of our societies and to human rights. IMD is an opportunity to promote an informed and balanced conversation on migration and to share the stories, experiences, aspirations of migrants in their communities.
This year IOM UK in collaboration with IMIX are supporting Civil Society Organisations, local communities and individuals across the UK to celebrate International Migrants Day.
It Takes a Community
The theme for this year’s International Migrants Day is #ItTakesACommunity. The theme reminds us of our interdependence, our common humanity, and the unique contributions we collectively make to our shared communities.
Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life.
The Ambassador Programme
One of the key elements of this year's International Migrants Day is the Ambassador Programme. Seven people with lived experience of migration have been trained by IMIX to tell their own stories of “community” through different media channels. The aim is to emphasise migrants’ perspectives/voices and put a human face on migration, raise awareness about the positive impact of migration in society and promote narratives focused on social inclusion and human dignity. This content will be shared and amplified during the week ahead of International Migrants Day.
How to Get Involved
The theme for this year’s International Migrants Day is ‘It Takes A Community’. The aim is to raise awareness of the positive contribution of migrants, to amplify migrant voices, and to showcase how communities support and welcome migrants, by supporting Civil Society Organisations, communities, local authorities and individuals across the UK that are celebrating International Migrants Day.
Does your organisation have any events or initiatives to mark International Migrants Day? Let us know and we can help you spread the word. Do you have an existing story, project or initiative that showcases the role of diverse communities and migrant contributions? You can use International Migrants Day platform to showcase your work. Share and re-share social media using the #ItTakesACommunity. We will make a Social Media Toolkit available for organisations to use.
Get in touch for more information
- International Migrants Day 2019
Climate migration is a reality around the world and 2019 once again saw climate change being brought to the fore of political and social discourse. IOM UK marked International Migrants Day 2019 by hosting a special screening and panel discussion of Elena Brunello's The Climate Limbo which explores this enduring nexus between climate change and migration as a global trend. Held at the iconic Somerset House in the heart of London, the sold-out event brought together experts, stakeholders and the public together to discuss the impacts of climate change on migration patterns. Discussion also focused on labour mobility, compensation mechanisms for those forced to leave their homes, how to prepare the capacities of cities and the terminology debate of whether to use "climate migrant" or "climate refugee". Dina Ionesco, head of the Migration, Enviroment and Climate Change (MECC) unit at IOM was joined by Alex Randall from the Climate and Migration Coalition, Dr Avidan Kent from the University of East Anglia and Minnie Rahman from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) on the panel.
- International Migrants Day 2018
Fear and stubborn prejudices lent tension to a life-affirming story on the themes of football and migrant integration at IOM UK's film screening of Mark Grentell’s The Merger. Hosted at Somerset House in central London, the film is an emotional rollercoaster ride featuring a team of local and refugee footballers as they struggle to band together and rescue their team from the brink. Screened as part of IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival and in partnership with the London Migration Film Festival, the screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring Mark Doidge (University of Brighton), Ahmad Al Rashid (Syrian refugee and IOM UK staff), Kevin Coleman (The Football Association) and Shaista Aziz (The Diversity Football League and Oxford City Council) who all shared their own experiences and stories of how sports bring people together.
- International Migrants Day 2016
In 2016, the event to mark International Migrants Day showcased a Civil Society Forum on the topic of "The Evolving Dynamics of the Refugee and Migrant Response", and as part of the Ethics and Politics of the Refugee Crisis project, in partnership with the Open University, the University of Oxford's Centre for Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), the Migration Museum Project and actREAL.
- International Migrants Day 2015
In 2015, we hosted a symposium on Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), to discuss the nexus between migration and development. The event was the opportunity to highlight the inclusion of migration into the Sustainable Development Goals, in recognition of the role that human mobility plays in reducing poverty and inequality within and across countries, as one of the key innovations of the 2030 international development agenda.