Stand up for the human rights of all migrants
On the occasion of International Migrants’ Day, as part of a global call to Stand Up for Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Office launches a series of animated videos to amplify the voices of migrants, the communities that welcome them and the conversations they have along the way. Together with all the people who have participated in this endeavour, we ask you to join us in celebrating International Migrants’ Day and in standing up for the human rights of all migrants everywhere. Share our stories.
Values we all share in migrant voices that long to be heard
The UN Human Rights Office launches an animated video series that gives a voice to people on the move and aims to change an often harmful public narrative on migration.
About International Migrants’Day - #StandUp4Migrants
On 18 December, we celebrate migrants. People who have moved across borders, each with their own story, struggles and successes. Every migrant has their own reasons for leaving behind homes and families, and every migrant has their own unique experiences along the journey, their own personal story of exile and belonging. But these stories often remain hidden, like the many migrants themselves who are compelled to endure a life in the shadows of our societies, prevented from enjoying the rights and freedoms so many take for granted.
Anti-migrant discourse in the political sphere, the media and public debate have become commonplace and are often used for cheap political gains, or as a means of boosting sales and advertising revenue. Migrants are demonised, vilified and used as scapegoats for deep-rooted fears about terrorism, crime, unemployment, welfare systems, and the uncertainties of globalization. Dividing societies into ‘us’ versus ‘them’ enables a justification of violence, hatred and discrimination against migrants including refugees as well as minorities associated with migration. In the ultimate analysis, it is our societies that will lose the most from the spreading of such hatred.
Policies that affect the lives of migrants are better and more sustainable when they are based on facts and evidence. We also know, however, that a more rational debate about migration cannot be only rationalistic. As well as the evidence, it must also be about emotions, empathy and values. Each one of us, migrants and citizens, people on the move and those who have never moved, must listen to one another. By having conversations with those we perceive as different, by listening to their experiences as individuals, we can recognise how we all share a longing to belong, a quest for equality and a right to human dignity. Ultimately, the shared values of human rights connect us all and lay testimony to our common humanity. We realise that we have more in common than that which divides us.
This year we are launching an animated video series through which we aim to amplify the stories of migrants and their families, of the communities that welcome them and the conversations they have along the way. We have been joined in this series by comedian
Hari Kondabolu*, who has been recently honoured by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his ability to unite people of all backgrounds and beliefs in laughter, while raising awareness about important matters of social justice and equality. We are grateful to Hari Kondabolu and to all the migrants who have shared their stories with us.
Together with the migrants and their friends and communities who have participated in this endeavor, we ask you to join us in celebrating International Migrants’ Day. Share our stories and stand up for the human rights of all migrants.
How to participate and take action
Starting from 18 December, International Migrants’ Day, the UN Human Rights Office will be releasing a series of stories on a weekly basis on our social media channels: Facebook
- Join us, share our videos, tag us,
- Reach out to someone in your community who is a migrant or someone who you see as different from you. Have a conversation, listen to each others’ experiences and find out what you have in common.