Migrants, Multiculture

December 18th is International Migrant Day

A celebration organised by workers’ union Unite will mark this date – now recognised by the UN – dedicated to all those who, for whatever reason, make the decision to leave their country of origin.

During the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st Century, international migration has become a growing phenomenon in many parts of the world.

Globalisation and improvements in transport have meant a rise in the number of people who decide to leave their countries, regardless of their reasons for doing so.

Migration brings certain advantages for destination countries, as they often need immigrant workers to do jobs that local workers are not willing to do.

Furthermore, the ageing populations of developed countries causes a fall in the number of active workers, which means that the immigrant workforce represents an important economic injection for these countries.

However, immigrants are affected by factors such as marginalisation and social exclusion, which prevent them from contributing as much as they could, both socially and economically, in their destination countries.

Secretary-General of the UN, Ban-Ki Moon, has stated that when immigrants are supported “through the right policies and the protection of their human rights, migration can exert a beneficial influence on people from the countries of origin, transit and destination.”

In 2000, December 18th was chosen as the day to raise awareness of this issue, and has become a special occasion on which to reflect on the importance of international cooperation regarding migration.

To mark the day, workers’ union Unite will hold a day of conferences, round table discussions and workshops with the help of immigrants, refugees and displaced people.

It will be held on the 18th December, 9.30am-3.30pm at Unite House, 128 Theobald’s Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN.

(Translated by Rachel Eadie – Email: racheleadie@hotmail.com)

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