International Migrants Day 2020: The enormity of the migrant crisis worldwide has been exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic like never before. The challenges and difficulties faced by migrants are of unimaginable proportions. The television visuals of millions of migrant workers out on the road, when the sudden lockdown was first announced in India in end March, is still fresh in our memory. To mark International Migrants Day this year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has called for the world community to come together and “remember the refugees and migrants who have lost their lives”. The picture of the Syrian three-year-old boy, Aylan Kurdi, who died when his boat sank trying to reach Greece, still, haunts us.
International Migrants Day 2020: Who is a migrant?
According to the UN Migration Agency, a migrant is a “person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of the person’s legal status; whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; what the causes for the movement are or what the length of the stay is.”
International Migrants Day 2020: Facts and numbers
The 2020 theme for International Migrants Day is ‘Reimagining Human Mobility’
- The number of international migrants or people living in a country other than their country of birth in 2019 had reached 272 million
- Women migrants are 48 per cent of total number
- An estimated 38 million are children among them
- Three out of four international migrants are of working age, that is, between 20 and 64
- Approximately 31 per cent of the international migrants worldwide are in Asia, 30 per cent in Europe, 26 per cent in the Americas, 10 per cent in Africa and three per cent in Oceania
(Source: Global Migration Data Portal)
In 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 18 as International Migrants Day. The General Assembly on that day adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.