The total number of international migrants has increased from an estimated 175 million in 2000 to 232 million persons today. Migration is now more widely distributed across more countries. Today the top 10 countries of destination receive a smaller share of all migrants than in 2000. One of every ten migrants is under the age of 15.
The United Nation’s Secretary-General brought attention to the barriers of social mobility faced by migrants in their daily life in his message for the international day.
“International migration is a powerful tool for reducing poverty and enhancing opportunity. That is why there are now some 232 million international migrants bringing consistent benefits to countries of destination and origin through their essential labour and remittances. Yet, this important population remains largely invisible and unheard in society. Too many live and work in the worst conditions with the least access to basic services and fundamental rights, making them disproportionately vulnerable to extortion, violence, discrimination and marginalization.”
On 4 December 2000, the UN General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day. On 18 December 1990, the General Assembly had adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
For International Migrants Day, global citizens can participate online by sharing photos and videos tied to their personal stories about how migrants positively contribute to communities and economies worldwide. You can join the global conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #IAmAMigrant.