International Migrants Day (18 December) this year falls almost exactly 70 years after the Brussels conference that led to the establishment of the organization that, in 1989, was renamed the International Organization for Migration. A broad range of factors continue to determine the movement of people. They are either voluntary or forced movements as a result of the increased magnitude and frequency of disasters, economic challenges and extreme poverty or conflict. Approximately 281 million people were international migrants in 2020, representing 3.6 per cent of the global population. 

All these will significantly affect the characteristics and scale of migration in the future, and determine the strategies and policies countries must develop in order to harness the potential of migration while ensuring the fundamental human rights of migrants are protected. 


2021 theme: "Harnessing the potential of human mobility"

Migrants contribute with their knowledge, networks, and skills to build stronger, more resilient communities.  The global social and economic landscape can be shaped through impactful decisions to address the challenges and opportunities presented by global mobility and people on the move. 

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) offers the opportunity and guidance to actualize human mobility and seize the opportunities it presents.   

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has assisted millions of migrants since it emerged 70 years ago to assist the vast number of Europeans displaced by the Second World War and continues to lead the way in promoting a humane and orderly management of migration for the benefit of all, including the communities of origin, transit and destination.  


The Global Compact on Migration

The Global Compact on Migration is the first-ever intergovernmentally negotiated UN agreement on a common approach to international migration.

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