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Originally produced in: Italy
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6. International Migrant’s Day

"On the occasion of the International Migrant’s Day and close to the forthcoming 150° anniversary of united Italy, I acknowledge that great number of Italians who moved abroad and all their descendants and all the foreigners who moved to our country. One characteristic of Italy is that it has always been a land of migrants. [...]Italian emigration has sensibly decreased in time but has never stopped and, in fact, it has recently shown a sort of reprise. However, our emigration features have deeply changed. Only a few of our new emigrants are unskilled workers. Indeed, those who are to permanently, not only temporary, to leave the country , are often brilliant graduates, scholars, technicians, entrepreneur and highly skilled personnel in general. […] I really wish all new Italian emigrants, as the elders, are good in the countries they are living in, working or studying. I wish they are not subjected to bias, prejudices and they can see their projects come true and give their contribution to those countries affluence. I sincerely hope that Italy , in particular, will be able to show the world it can call back home all these talents, as well as I hope they will find here the same sort of opportunities for they were induced to move abroad.

Anyway, nowadays Italy is for the most an immigration country. That is a sort of immigration which has now become part of its population. Many people, among them, were born immigrants who were born here as well. There is a strong presence of their children in Italian schools, like it is high the number of those who purchase a home here. Immigration may help to reduce a lack of productive population, labour particularly for selected job roles or activities. Immigrants alone, with their presence, can guarantee to companies a constant productions and to families a constant care of their dear ones. Moreover, immigrants represent today a significant number of new employees but also of new employers. These very important data must be kept in mind at all time, as well as difficulties and problems ,still to be solved, should not be undervalued. By the way, our attention shall not overlook the fundamental present and past contribution of immigration to our country , nor the need to help and promote an integration based upon mutual respect and upon fundamental rights acknowledgement of those who came and live in Italy carefully observing its laws”.

Rome, 18th December 2010

Source: http://www.quirinale.it/elementi/Continua.aspx?tipo=Comunicato&key=11118 : message from Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano, on the occasion of the " International Migrant’s Day".


The excerpt contains some relevant parts held by President Napolitano’s discourse on the occasion of the International Migrants Day.

In 2000 UNO established the International Migrants Day with the main aim of highlighting how important it may be to know and respect some fundamental human rights of those who have left their home country, today as yesterday, to find new and better life conditions and new job opportunities . this is a phenomenon that seriously increased during the last decades all over the world. To celebrate this day, the chosen date has been 18th December, expressly o recall the day when UNO adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, in 1990. This is one of the most important international agreement about human right, but, all the same, one of the less ratified ever. Nowadays, indeed, 20 years after its approval, less than 50 nations ratified this agreement. They are developing countries, producing waves of population but destination countries are missing and all European Union members as well.


  1. Who instituted the International Migrants Day and when?
  2. Why Italian Republic President addressed an official message on this topic on 18th December?
  3. What is the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families about ?
  4. What is the story of this agreement and which nations was it ratified by?

Display teacher's view to find the answers.

Description and Analysis

Eleventh Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, in charge from 2006 for seven years, uses this writing to recall an important and yet so often forgotten anniversary,:

the International Migrants Day In 2000 by UNO established and it is celebrated all over the world to recall the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families adopted by UNO General Meeting, as well, on 18th December 1990.

This is an international document describing in full details, with particular referral to migrant workers and their families, rights already included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It is divided in 93 articles and was proclaimed after many difficulties and a 10-year work. Only in 2003 it became effective, when the 20th nation joined in (on the basis of art. No. 87 and from the 20th ratifying instrument dismissal , indeed, the agreement becomes effective only three months later). Nowadays, it has been signed by 44 nation, although it was theoretically adopted by a large majority UNO, it has been subscribed by none of the main immigration countries yet (UE, USA, Australia). Italy, in fact, seems to be bound too.

For the first time this agreement provides an international definition for “migrant workers” (art.2) and establishes shared treatment standards (being not citizens of the country where they’re are working, migrant workers, indeed, represent a group of people in serious need for protection). It therefore tries to prevent exploitment ,to guarantee their human rights and (in on the basis of equality and non discrimination) and to provide to countries indications about how to respect human rights and how to develop correct job policies.

Ratifying this agreement means the acknowledgement of immigrates and his family’s fundamental human rights to all the signatory nations, as well as the abandonment of all policies which do not consider immigrates as human “subjects” but as productive elements. This fact, together with particular protection forms granted by the Agreement to irregular immigrates, can explain resistance shown by many countries to accept them within their boundaries.

Although the great debate going on about immigration, in Italy ( a “migrants land”, as recalled by President Napolitano in his message) few words have been spoken about this agreement. It is , in fact, a duty of public education system to promote knowledge of it, to make young people more aware about this theme and encourage civil cohabitation behaviours on the basis of fundamental human values.