Why we’re celebrating International Migrants Day

Today is International Migrants Day. It happens on 18 December because, back in 1990, that was the date that the United Nations adopted the international convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families. And at Azimo, we believe that in these times when migrants often get a bad press, it’s important to celebrate them and what they have achieved.

As Marta Krupinska, our co-founder, puts it:

“Contrary to the common misconceptions that migrants are all blue collar workers, so many come with degrees, multiple languages, business skills and valuable foreign market knowledge. Healthy migration is the essence of a great economy and fuels innovation in key industries, especially the tech sector. Just look at the startup scene, many of the founders are migrants – myself included. CityMapper, YPlan, FarFetch. – their founders moved to the UK, built multi-million dollar businesses and created jobs. As more and more migrants come to the UK – whether they are refugees or economic – I hope that we can start celebrating the contribution that they could bring, not just on International Migrants Day but everyday.”

In the UK 16% of the workforce was born overseas. And two-thirds of those who come to the country for employment already have a job offer when they arrive. So we don’t believe that migrants are a burden on a country, but instead are more likely to help the economy of the country where they’ve relocated.

Of course, migrants also help the economies of the countries that they’ve come from by sending money home. That’s where Azimo comes into the picture. We want to make sure that migrants get a much better deal when they send remittances. And if you were to wander round our London office and see how many of the people who work here are themselves from other countries, you’d understand why it is a mission that is particularly close to our heart.