Friday, December 16, 2016

International Migrants Day: December 18

Gearing up for International Migrants Day -- December 18:
Challenging racism and xenophobia, detentions and deportations --Lifting up human rights and justice for all migrants and refugees

December 18 is International Migrants Day, and marks the 21st anniversary of the passage of the United Nations’ International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Click here to add your name in support of the Convention.

This will be the 11th year of worldwide celebrations and other activities. This annual day, proclaimed by the United Nations in 2000, recognizes the role and contributions of migrants throughout the world, raises awareness of their human rights, and calls attention to the continuing need for enhanced protections against exploitation, abuse and violence.

In the United States, we call attention to a record year of anti-immigrant rhetoric, led by no other than the future President of the United States, Donald Trump. And at years' end, we gear up for an anticipated escalation in detentions and deportations, a Muslim registry, more immigration restrictions--and an extension of the border wall.

Yet, hope and resistance abound! Across the country, immigrant communities, advocates and allies have rallied to broaden and strengthen resistance strategies and plans. Cities and campuses have taken on "sanctuary" commitments, with some church congregations even commiting to providing physical sanctuary for immigrants threatened with deportation.

We urge members, friends and allies to recognize this International Migrants day and honor our migrant communities in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to check out the International Migrants Day background information and resources on our website.

Internationally, the issue of migration has continued to galvanize public debate, just as millions of migrants and refugees have crossed international borders and sought refuge and survival. This past year the United Nations agreed to move forward over the next two years to create two new "global compacts" on migration and on refugees, to engage governments to provide safer and more inclusive policies for people on the move, including those who are "forced" to migrate and who are in "vulnerable situations".

Especially on International Migrants Day, when we recognize and honor migrants throughout the world, we also need to raise awareness about the need for policies that ameliorate involuntary displacement and forced migration, including climate justice, fair trade and people-centered development, and fulfilling the need and access to healthcare, education, housing, jobs and safe, healthy environments. 

Coming at the year’s end, International Migrants Day activities have served to bring together our members, constituents, communities and allies for reflection, celebration, and/or protest – and to recommit to the challenges and opportunities we will have to fight for the human rights of all immigrants in the coming year. These can take place at any number of places and in various forms, including an afternoon action at a Federal Building, an evening gathering at a place of worship, a potluck dinner at your home or local community center--or a massive march, as planned in Los Angeles this year.

Background information and resources on International Migrants Day and the International Convention on the Protection of Rights for All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families are available at NNIRR's website.

Migrants rights are human rights!

(from the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR))

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