As most of you are aware, today is International Migrants’ Day. The date was chosen because the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families December 18 December 1990. Still, no major receiving countries of migrants has ratified the convention. The latest country to ratify was
Bangladesh in August 24, 2011, bringing the total number of ratifications to 45.
As is the case with many initiatives for the protection of the rights of migrant workers, International Migrants’ Day was first celebrated in Asia. In 1997 migrant organisations in the Philippines organized an event with the goal to urge more countries to ratify the convention.
Since the year 2000, December 18 is officially recognized as International Migrants’ Day. Thus, today (and in some countries tomorrow), there will be plenty of activities and mobilization events all around the globe, for example in Hong Kong, where Sunday is the main day of advocacy work anyway.
Here is a link where you can find an overview of the events organized:
For the 6th time, there will also be a global radio event to celebrate the date. This was launched in 2006 by December 18, a Belgium-based international NGO which still coordinates the organization of the annual event. The goal of Radio1812 is to “bring together migrant groups and radios from around the world to produce, broadcast and share programs celebrating the achievements and highlighting the concerns of migrants worldwide”.
Recently, the NGO has lost its main sponsor, OXFAM NOVIB due to severe cuts by the Dutch government. But according to Director Rene Plaetevoet “although we are facing some serious financial challenges, we wanted to continue because we firmly believe in the role of the media and in the need to make migrants voices heard (especially in this time to rising discrimination and racism)”.
Radio 1812 is also very active during the GFMD, here are links leading to two interesting features:
The first piece is a report on the Geneva meetings produced by journalist Jenni Roth and based on interviews with some of the key people.
The second piece is an interview with Sharan Burrow from the ITUC. She talks about the GFMD process and also about the impact of the financial crisis on the situation of migrant workers. It’s produced by journalist Ruth Reichstein.
The convention discussed at the PGA 2010 https://gfmd2010.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/convention-time-pt-2-mixed-birthday-blessings-for-the-un-migrant-workers-convention-mwc/