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International Migrants Day: Honoring the Contributions of Migrants and Respecting their Rights

Operation Xcel celebrates diversity, welcoming people of various origins, while providing equal opportunities and embracing our shared humanity.

Migration has been a significant aspect of human history for ages. People have always moved to seek better opportunities, safety, or to escape hardships. December 18th is celebrated as International Migrants Day to recognize the contributions and difficulties faced by those who leave their homes in search of a better life. This day also emphasizes the interconnectedness of our global community.  The United Nations established International Migrants Day to recognize the contributions of migrants and ensure their rights are protected and upheld for sustainable development. Contrary to some beliefs, migrants play a crucial role in the global economy. 

The General Assembly, considering the significant and growing number of migrants around the world, declared 18 December as International Migrants Day on 4 December 2000 (A/RES/55/93). On the same day in 1990, the Assembly approved the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (A/RES/45/158). 

In December 2018, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration was adopted at the Intergovernmental Conference held in Marrakech. This Compact is grounded in values of state sovereignty, responsibility-sharing, non-discrimination, and human rights. It recognizes that a cooperative approach is needed to optimize the overall benefits of migration while addressing its risks and challenges for individuals and communities in countries of origin, transit, and destination.

Migration involves more than simply moving from one location to another. It is a story that is deeply human, intertwined with aspirations, challenges, hopes, and resilience. Migrants frequently play an essential role in the economic, cultural, and social structures of both the nations they came from and the ones they relocate to.

As the populations of most Western nations are aging and their birth rates are low, they must rely on immigrants to drive and sustain economic growth. Therefore, it is in the best interest of these developed nations to support safe and orderly migration.

Migration is a topic that demands our attention and understanding, especially in today's globalized world. International Migrants Day is not only a chance to acknowledge migrants but also an opportunity to embrace our shared humanity and responsibilities.

I hope that we can one day move closer to a world that is more inclusive, understanding, and prepared to utilize the opportunities and overcome the obstacles presented by migration.

Let's celebrate diversity, acknowledge migrant resilience, and commit to a sustainable future where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive regardless of their origin.

What would a day without migrants look like? Check out this video from the UN website: