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International Migrants Day

Migrant workers provide a much needed labor force for businesses around the world.

Migrants have traveled from place to place in search of work for thousands of years and continue to do so today. Most migrate out of necessity but many do it because they have a vision of creating a better life for themselves. They also send money home to relatives in their countries of origin to help improve their standards of living.

Migrant workers can be found in almost every country, city, town, and in rural areas around the world that offer jobs and opportunities for those who come and are willing to work.

December 18 has been designated the United Nations' (UN) International Migrants Day. It is held annually to recognize the rights and needs of migrant workers by highlighting their contributions to the worldwide economy.

International Migrants Day sheds light on the plight of migrant workers who are often abused, neglected, and treated unfairly in the workplace and in the communities in which they come to work, especially during times when the economy goes into a recession and people are laid off and can't find work.

It is important to remember that it is often the migrant workers who help create jobs and grow the economy. There is a clear link between migration of workers and economic development in many countries.

In more developed countries, ageing workers and better educated younger people make it necessary for migrant workers to come into a country and work.

Without migrant workers, many jobs would go unfilled. They are often employed to do jobs that are considered to be menial, pay low wages, and jobs that require rigorous physical labor. Whatever the case, migrant workers are needed and in some countries, they make up a large portion of the population as a whole.

International Migrants Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 4, 2000 and is observed in many countries. It underscores the need for better working and living conditions for the millions of migrant workers who move from country to country looking for employment.

All United Nations member states are encouraged to observe this day by recognizing human rights, fundamental freedoms, and undertaking action to ensure the protection of migrants and their families.

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