Toronto – December 14, 2013 – On December 18, on International Migrants Day, the world recognizes and celebrates the rights of migrants. The day annually commemorates the December 8, 1990 adoption of the United Nations International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, which affirms the human rights of all migrants, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, and recognizes that migrants are men, women, children, and families – not just economic commodities.
- In 2013, the number of international migrants worldwide reached 232 million, up from 175 million in 2000.
- 49 per cent of all migrants are women.
- 136 million international migrants live in developed countries while 96 million resided in developing countries; the increase of migrants in developing countries (2.5%) is growing at a higher rate than in developed ones (2.3%). (2013)
- International migrants account for a small share (3.2%) of the world’s total population.
- Europe and Asia combined host nearly two-thirds of all international migrants worldwide (in 2013):
- 72 million were residing in Europe.
- 71 million were residing in Asia.
- 53 million were residing in North America.
- 19 million were residing in Africa.
- 9 million were residing in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- 8 million were residing in Oceania.
- In 2013, more than 51 per cent of the world’s migrants lived in 10 countries.
- 15.7 million, almost 7 per cent of international migrants, were refugees, in 2013.
- 9 out of 10 refugees live in developing regions. Asia hosted the largest number of refugees in 2013 – 10.4 million.
- Remittances (transfers of money by a migrant worker to his or her home country) have increased exponentially: up from USD $132 billion in 2000 to an estimated USD 440 billion in 2010.
Source: United Nations – Population Facts