In honour of International Migrants Day

18.December 2023

The 18th of December marks International Migrants Day. This day is honoured every year to recognise the important contribution of migrants while highlighting the challenges they face. At RED NOSES, we frequently work with people who have had to face forced migration as part of our Emergency Smile programme.

Keep on reading to discover the significance of International Migrants Day and how we work together with migrants to share the power of joy and laughter.

© RED NOSES International - Craig Russell

Migration and human rights

In 2020, 281 million people were estimated to be international migrants and by mid-year 2023, there were an estimated total of 36.4 MILLION REFUGEES and 6.1 MILLION ASYLUM-SEEKERS worldwide.

Migrants are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. Often forced to leave everything behind in pursuit of a better life, they face a great deal of marginalisation and discrimination. Furthermore, they have limited access to essential services, such as healthcare and mental health support.

The WHO recognises that health is a fundamental human right. This is defined in its constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

In line with this understanding, the WHO acknowledges the importance of mental health as an integral component of overall wellbeing.

It’s vital to recognise that human rights are the rights of everyone, regardless of their origin, age, gender and status.

Data protection


RED NOSES Emergency Smile programme

As part of our Emergency Smile programme, we frequently work together with people facing forced migration in an effort to provide psychosocial support through the art of clowning.

When an Emergency Smile mission takes place, an international team of clown artists travel to locations where they can provide support. Our previous missions have taken place on the Greek island of Lesvos, as well as Turkey, Georgia and Moldova.

Our Emergency Smile clown artists undergo specialist training so that they are better equipped to support people dealing with high levels of adversity, trauma, or other extremely stressful circumstances.

Here’s what our CEO, Natalie Porias had to say about our work with migrants:
“Through art and especially the art of clowning we can embrace the power of compassion and understanding, laughter, play and human encounters can heal the scars of displacement.”

© RED NOSES International - Craig Russell

All of us here at RED NOSES believe in the positive impact of humour and laughter on health and wellbeing and our Emergency Smile programme aims to address the rights of migrants and create magical moments of joy.

Join us not only on the 18th of December, but every day, in advocating for the human rights of migrants, and recognising the important contributions they make in our society.