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International Migrants Day
18 December

""On International Migrants Day, let us commit to coherent, comprehensive and human-rights based responses guided by international law and standards and a shared resolve to leave no one behind.""

Ban Ki-moon
Message for International Migrants Day,
18 December 2015


A checkpoint is set up outside Malha, North Darfur, as Sudanese returning from Libya
wait to enter the town. UN Photo/Albert González Farran

Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Today, globalization, together with advances in communications and transportation, has greatly increased the number of people who have the desire and the capacity to move to other places.

This new era has created challenges and opportunities for societies throughout the world. It also has served to underscore the clear linkage between migration and development, as well as the opportunities it provides for co-development, that is, the concerted improvement of economic and social conditions at both origin and destination.

Migration draws increasing attention in the world nowadays. Mixed with elements of unforeseeability, emergency, and complexity, the challenges and difficulties of international migration require enhanced cooperation and collective action among countries and regions. The United Nations is actively playing a catalyst role in this area, with the aim of creating more dialogues and interactions within countries and regions, as well as propelling experience exchange and collaboration opportunities.

To mark this year’s International Migrants Day, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling on the international community to come together and remember the refugees and migrants who have lost their lives or have disappeared while trying to reach safe harbour after arduous journeys across seas and deserts.

IOM invites people all over the world to hold the first global Candlelight Vigil on December 18 to commemorate the migrants whose lives have been lost this year. Each of them has a name, a story and left their homelands seeking better opportunities and safety for themselves and in many cases for their families - aspirations that all of us strive for.

Read more about the vigil.

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