Friday, December 18, 2009
On December 4, 2000, the UN General Assembly declared December 18 to be International Migrants Day to draw attention to the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the large and increasing number of migrant workers around the world. On that day in 1990, the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (resolution 45/158). We are fast approaching the 20th anniversary of that Convention. According to the United Nations, there are over 200 million migrants living and working in other countries around the world today.
Here in the United States, there are more than 42 million migrants. Many immigration advocacy groups are marking the day by calling on the U.S. government to reform the immigration laws in a manner that recognizes and respects the human rights and dignity of persons regardless of their status. Immigrant community groups around the country are marking the day with press releases, candlelight vigils, movie screenings and other activities designed to educate the public about the rights of immigrants and migrant workers in particular.