European Union External Action

International Migrants Day: EU works with partners to protect migrants

18/12/2018 - 14:05

Migration is a global challenge that requires a global response. On the occasion of the International Migrants Day, with over 258 million migrants worldwide, the European Union confirms its commitment to contribute to managing migration in a humane way. Through its partnership approach the EU works with countries of origin, transit and destination as well as international organisations to save lives, assist migrants and refugees, ensure the respect of their human rights as well as fight smugglers and traffickers.

International Migration Day, MIGRATION

"Migration requires global, cooperative alliances: No country can address migration on its own – neither in Europe nor elsewhere in the world.", High Representative Federica Mogherini said.

The International Organization for Migration, a trusted partner of the EU, has chosen "Migration With Dignity" as the theme to mark this year's International Migrants Day, calling on the international community to safeguard the fundamental rights of migrants, their security and dignity.

Today, the European Union "reaffirms its enduring commitment to protect migrants' human rights, to prevent perilous irregular journeys and ensure opportunities for legal and safe pathways instead".

Major progress has been achieved by the EU and its Member States, delivering on all strands of the European Agenda on Migration.

EU operations in the Mediterranean have helped to save over 690,000 lives at sea. The successful trilateral cooperation by the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations has helped over 39,000 people to voluntarily return to their homes, with reintegration assistance.

And the EU's Emergency Trust Fund continues to play a pivotal role in addressing the root causes of irregular migration: more than €4 billion have been mobilised for important initiatives on the ground.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, launched as a response to the urgent need to save and protect lives in December 2016, is supporting over 55,000 returning migrants with post-arrival reception and reintegration support in their countries of origin.


The EU-IOM Joint Initiative further pursues activities which range from education, awareness and training, social cohesion to ethical, fact-based and humane media coverage on migration.

The EU will continue to seek for common solutions with its partners in the world.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to which the EU has actively contributed, will be an important reference point for the international cooperation on migration, carrying a strong human dimension and based on international human rights law.

"It is by working together, in the spirit of shared responsibility, that we can jointly turn migration from a common challenge into a shared opportunity", High Representative Mogherini said.