International Migrants day is celebrated on December 18 every year. Warfare, insecurity, the effects of climate change, war, and other crises have greatly forced migration in recent years, both inside and across borders.
As per the United Nations report, over 281 million people migrated internationally in 2020, and by the end of 2021, over 59 million people were internally displaced.
History and Significance of International Migrants Day
The date (December 18) was chosen to honor the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their families, which was adopted by the UNGA on this day in 1990.
Migrants frequently face abuse and exploitation, have limited access to necessities like healthcare, and are subject to racist attacks and social stigma that is fueled by false information.
In contrast, a large number of migrant workers frequently hold temporary, unprotected, or informal positions, which puts them at a higher risk of job insecurity, layoffs, and unfavourable working conditions.
The International Migrants day was adopted to protect the basic and human rights of the migrants.
It was the first time in 2016 that the General Assembly had called a summit of Heads of State and Government to discuss significant refugee and migrant movements, and it was a historic chance to develop a strategy for a more effective global response.
The Summit marked a turning point in improving international migration governance and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to develop a more accountable, consistent process for handling major refugee and migrant movements.
International Migrants Day 2022 Theme
Integrating migrants into the primary healthcare system is the main theme of International Migrants Day 2022.
In order to adopt an integrated strategy to policies addressing migration and public health, WHO recommends three elements, some of which are based in part on experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Access to territory that is protection-sensitive means allowing people who require international protection access to territories and asylum procedures.
- Flexibility regarding migratory status to ensure that irregular (undocumented) migrants have safe and legal access to health services.
- Non-discriminatory access to health care to ensure that everyone has the same access to health care regardless of migratory status, nationality, gender, gender identity, age, or racial background.
The WHO Global Action Plan “Promoting the Health of Refugees and Migrants” (2019–2023) aims to make the point that good migration governance and protection for refugees and migrants depend on their physical well-being.