Statement for International Migrants Day 2018


Ottawa, December 18, 2018 – The Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement:

“Since 2000, the United Nations has designated December 18 as International Migrants Day. It marks an opportunity to recognize all migrants’ contributions to their home and host countries, as well as the importance of respecting human rights. As a country of immigrants, Canada is especially pleased to mark this important day.

In today’s world, migration is a fact of life, as people move around the world in larger numbers than ever before. Last year, there were some 258 million migrants worldwide, a 50% increase since 2000. Most international migration is conducted through regular channels without incident.

In December 2018, Canada was proud to sign two international agreements: the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. These Compacts represent a significant milestone for the international community in its responses to migration challenges and opportunities. We would like to especially commend the critical work of Louise Arbour on these important agreements.

The Compact will not, as some have stated, affect any country’s sovereignty to control its borders or migration policies. Canada remains committed to support a global approach to migration which is based on facts, stands up for human rights and works to eliminate gender-based violence. The Global Compact on Migration provides a voluntary framework for countries to address and reduce the risks for vulnerable migrants.

Canada will always encourage international cooperation, in order to address the challenges of irregular migration and harness migration’s benefits.

We also welcome the recent endorsement of the separate Global Compact on Refugees, an important step towards increased international cooperation in support of the 25.4 million refugees worldwide.

Diversity and migration are part of our national identity and a source of strength and social cohesion. On this International Migrants Day, Canada remains committed to working with the United Nations and other partners, at home and abroad, to make migration work for all and meet our common goal of a safer, more inclusive and prosperous world.”


For further information (media only), please contact:

Mathieu Genest
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Global Affairs Canada

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