International Migrants Day

"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

Migration is as old as human history and reflects a courageous desire to overcome adversity to live a better life. Today, globalization and technological advances have contributed to more people being on the move than ever before.  This has created both opportunities and challenges with 258 million international migrants counted globally in 2017, representing 3.4% of the world population.

On December 18 each year, the United Nations marks International Migrants Day to recognize the efforts, contributions and rights of migrants worldwide.  

In recent years, IOM UK has marked International Migrants Day by holding film screenings as part of the Global Migration Film Festival and the London Migration Film Festival.  Through cultural events and open discussions, IOM continues to actively build understanding to reduce tensions and foster closer ties within diverse communities.

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.




"Migration is one of the key realities of our time. It cuts across communities, influences priorities, and shapes societies.
To realise the benefits of migration for migrants and host communities alike, our responses must be innovative, collaborative and designed beyond the immediate."


Dipti Pardeshi, Chief of Mission of the IOM UK Office