Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life.
International Migrants Day 2021
In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly declared 18 December as International Migrants Day, marking a day every year to reflect on the role of migrants in our societies, their positive contributions and the challenges they face in achieving their full potential and capabilities. This day is also a reminder that human rights are not ‘earned’ by virtue of being a hero or a victim, but are an entitlement of everyone, regardless of origin, age, gender and status.
This past year has demonstrated how communities can support each other through life-altering moments: from the Covid-19 pandemic that highlighted the role played by migrants in key sectors such as the healthcare and other essential services, to the pivotal role played by UK based organisations and the Afghan diaspora in supporting the evacuation and reception of refugees fleeing from a deteriorating situation in their country. Migrants contribute their knowledge, networks, skills and stories to help build stronger, more resilient communities. At the same time however, racism and xenophobia continue to pose a threat to the social cohesion of our societies and to human rights.
This year the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the UK in collaboration with IMIX are supporting Civil Society Organisations, local communities and individuals across the UK to celebrate International Migrants Day. Find out more.
IMD is an opportunity to promote an informed and balanced conversation on migration and to share the stories, experiences, aspirations of migrants in their communities. The theme for this year’s International Migrants Day is ‘It Takes a Community.’ The theme reminds us of our interdependence, our common humanity, and the unique contributions we collectively make to our shared communities.
IMD Ambassadors 2021
As part of our #ItTakesACommunity theme, we have brought together individuals from all walks of life and varying migrant background to take part in our campaign and tell their stories, as well as what community means to them.
Amer, who now lives in London, came to the UK in 2018 from Syria. He works as a Programmes Coordinator at the Bike Project, a charity that provides refugees with second-hand bikes in London and Birmingham.
Veronica, originally from Romania, is student who arrived in the UK 3 years ago and currently studying for a Masters in Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University. She volunteers at Young Europeans in her spare time, and is passionate about promoting positive stories about the Romanian community.
Lara is a Brazilian-Italian living in West London. She is one of the Co-Managers of the Young Europeans Network and a passionate political activist. During the lockdowns she supported her local community.
Kushinga, from Zimbabwe, lives in Reading and has experienced life as an asylum seeker. She is a Drop-in and Volunteer Coordinator at the Reading Refugee Support Group and the Engagement and Pathways Coordinator for the Sing for Freedom Choir.
Nivek lives in Central London, and he came to the UK at the age of 18, escaping gang violence in South Africa. He has worked in several culture sector roles at the Tate, National Portrait Gallery and now works as Head of Household at the Tower of London – the first person of colour to ever hold this position or live in the tower itself. He lives with his family there!
Alexandra came to the UK from Romania in 2012 and alongside Lara is the other Co-Manager of The Young Europeans. She lives in Cambridge has a PhD and is the first and youngest Romanian-born County Councillor! She’s passionate about migrants’ rights and advocating for making citizenship and democracy more accessible.
Elmedina is from Portugal and now lives in London. She is a Specialist Lead Nurse and in her spare time volunteers within the community to educate people about their rights and how to stay safe during the pandemic.
Sarah came to the UK from Afghanistan 20 years ago – she used to work in TV but had to leave as she was in danger from the Taliban. She lives and works in Sunderland for the Business Innovation Centre and supports refugees to set up their own businesses. She’ll be supporting recently arrived Afghans in a new project from January 2022.
Fun Day Cooking at Migrateful
On the 23rd of November, our ambassadors took part in a fun cooking lesson, hosted by the lovely people at Migrateful, an organisation that holds cooking classes that teach recipes from around the world, while also supporting refugees and migrants to rebuild their lives in the UK. Migrateful also allows individuals to share their native cuisines with those taking classes, with the understanding that sharing food promotes better cultural understanding and empathy.
On the day, our ambassadors were greeted by the volunteers and the brilliant chef, Delores, who spoke about the cultural aspects and traditions related to food and cooking in her homeland, Jamaica. Throughout the day, the ambassadors learned how to cook delicious Caribbean cuisine, including dumplings, rice, and fried plantain, as well as traditional Jamaican hibiscus tea.
The theme for this year’s International Migrants Day is ‘It Takes A Community’. The aim is to raise awareness of the positive contribution of migrants, to amplify migrant voices, and to showcase how communities support and welcome migrants, by supporting Civil Society Organisations, communities, local authorities, and individuals across the UK that are celebrating International Migrants Day.
- Does your organisation have any events or initiatives to mark International Migrants Day? Let us know and we can help you spread the word
- Do you have an existing story, project or initiative that showcases the role of diverse communities and migrant contributions? You can use International Migrants Day platform to showcase your work
- Share and re-share social media using the #ItTakesACommunity. We will make a Social Media Toolkit available for organisations to use.
For more information, please visit: unitedkingdom.iom.int/international-migrants-day-2021