International Migrant's Day
About December 18, International Migrants Day
On December 18, 1990, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families was approved by the United Nations General Assembly, after almost a decade of governmental negotiations and pressure from migrant rights advocates around the world. In December 2000 the United Nations proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants Day.
Since 2001, in solidarity with other migrant rights organizations around the world, NNIRR has commemorated this day with members and allies. Each year we assist growing numbers of local events and initiatives with widely-endorsed call-to-actions, educational and organizing materials, and commemorative posters and t-shirts.
International Migrants Day 2009
NNIRR's recently-released human rights report, "Guilty by Immigration Status", documents how inter-agency and local police collaboration around immigration law enforcement, especially through the 287g agreements and the Secure Communities Program, have undermined community safety and made immigrants even more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
The global economic crisis further burdened already vulnerable immigrant communities around the world, and those in the U.S. were no exception. For the first time in decades, immigrants were forced to reduce their remittances to their families abroad, who themselves faced increasing hardships as most countries in the Global South were not immune to the crippling effects of the crisis. Many immigrants also become subject to scapegoating, as xenophobic rhetoric blamed immigrants and clouded failed economic policies. Many ruthless employers also used the crisis to further exploit their immigrant workers.
As this year's International Migrants Day also falls during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Summit) in Copenhagen, we also recognize the estimated 25 million people around the world who have suffered from forced displacement from their homelands and communities due to the devastating effects of climate change, more than those displaced by war. This number is expected to go up to 250 million in less than 50 years. By 2100, more than 20 countries are expected to experience 30-60% of agricultural and food production loss, 2.3 billion people will be threatened by mega-droughts, and almost 90% of people in rural communities around the world will lose their livelihoods.
Especially on International Migrants Day, when we recognize and honor migrants throughout the world, we need to raise awareness about the need for policies that ameliorate involuntary displacement and forced migration, including climate justice, fair trade and sustainable community development, and fulfilling the need and access to healthcare, education, housing, jobs and safe, healthy environments.
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For more information, contact:
Colin Rajah, NNIRR