International Migrants Day, Dedicated to Celebrating the Value of Migrants

On December 4th, 2000, the United Nations, General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed December 18th as the International Migrants Day.  On December 18th, 1990, the General Assembly had adopted the International Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers Rights and their Families.  The International Migrants Day is observed through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants.  But it is much more observed through the sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure the migrants protection.

On 14th and 15th day of September of the year 2006, the 132 States Members that participated in the General Assembly's High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, reaffirmed a number of key messages.

** First, they underscored that International Migration was a growing phenomenon and that it could make a positive contribution to development in countries of origin and countries of destination provided it was supported by the right policies.

** Secondly, they emphasized that respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all migrants was essential to reap the benefits of international migration.

** Thirdly, they recognized the importance of strengthening international cooperation on international migration bilaterally, regionally and globally.

Unfortunately, the main receiving countries of migrants around the world, including the United States of America (USA), has not ratified the International Convention mentioned above.  In the case of the USA, like many other countries, the notion of foreigners as a threat today has dominated the political debate and local and federal legislation over the past decades. This has led to a systematic attack on the rights of migrants even when migrant communities have proven to be a positive contributor to society and a source of strength for the nation.

International Migrants Day, dedicated to celebrating the value of migrants gives us a new opportunity to renew our commitment to continue our work of education and advocacy initiatives to help Federal, State, Local Officials, and the general public to understand and know more about us.  In celebrating International Migrants Day, we renew our commitment to work together more, in terms of policy changes aimed at bridging the economic and social inequities existing today.