Convention on rights of migrants

Source: December 18
A Guide for Non-Governmental Organisations on the Implementation of the UN Migrant Workers’ Convention is a handbook prepared by December 18 for the International NGO Platform on the Migrant Workers ’ Convention (IPMWC). Pdf format, December 2005. [see more]
II World Social Forum on Migrations - June 2006

The United Nations International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families came into force on 1 July 2003. It was approved in 1990, but its entry into force required ratification by 20 states party. Thirteen years later, when Guatemala ratified the Convention on March 13, this threshold was reached.

The World Migration Report 2003 (published by the International Organization for Migration) estimates that 2.9% of the world's population -175 million people or one person in 35- are migrants largely motivated by a desire for economic betterment.

Migrants constitute an extremely vulnerable group. The fundamental human rights of migrants are too easily violated or ignored. This is most true for those who do not qualify for one of the categories (e.g. citizen, refugee, registered foreign worker, student) that normally secure people legal protection. This situation has been aggravated by fears of terrorism and economic insecurity.

Against this backdrop the Convention came into force. It was a long process that involved active international campaigning and mobilization. In 1998 a Global Campaign was launched and a Steering Committee was set up. This is an alliance of intergovernmental agencies and international church, labour, human rights, migrants and women's organizations that provides information about the Convention and promotes cooperation for universal ratification of the Convention.

Previous UN Conferences, such as the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), also contributed to rise awareness on the Convention. The discrimination to which migrants are constantly exposed brought migrants' rights activists to the Conference.

With regards to the weaknesses of the Convention, despite the entering into force there is a low number of ratifications. No Western migrant-receiving country has ratified it, even though the majority of migrant workers live in Europe and North America. Other important receiving countries, such as India, Japan, Australia and the Gulf States, have not ratified the Convention either.

Another weak point is that migrant workers remain dependent upon the receiving State for protection of their rights. It also has been pointed out that the Convention fails to recognize the special problems of women migrant workers and child workers.

This Convention is not the first international instrument that aims at protecting migrant workers’ rights. There are two ILO conventions (from 1949 and 1975) that set standards for this special category of workers. Although many developed countries have ratified them, compliance with these previous regulations has been poor.

Nothing indicates that this situation will change with the entry into force of the UN Convention. It is, however, an additional tool that non-governmental organizations can use to their advantage in their advocacy work. One of the most delayed UN instruments is now a reality.
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Monday, December 12 2005
Migrant workers: a guide for NGOs
(Source: December 18)
Thursday, December 16 2004
18 December 2004: International Migrants Day
(Source: MRI)

The convention

Status of the ratifications (UNHCR)

Declarations and Reservations (UNHCHR)

The implementation: obligations arising at a national and international level (Migrants Rights International)

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)

Launched International NGO Platform on the Migrant Workers’ Convention (December 18)

The committee of experts (Migrant.News)

First session of the Committee on the Rights of Migrants

Entry into force: the campaign

Achieving dignity: campaigners' handbook for the Convention (Migrants Right International)

The Global Campaign for the Ratification of the Convention (Migrants Right International)

UN Migrant Workers' Convention (December 18)

18 December 2004: International Migrants Day (MRI)

The role of ILO

Text of the Conventions (ILO)

International instruments and the rights of migrant workers

Global Union Research Network - GURN

Migrant workers and advocates in the International Labour Conference

Towards a fair deal for migrant workers in the global economy (ILO)

UN and inter-agency information

The rights of non-citizens (UNHCHR)

Information kit on the Convention on Migrants Rights (UNESCO)

NGLS Roundup: human rights of migrants (UN)

UNESCO on migrants (UNESCO)

Inter-Agency document on `International Migration, Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia´ (UNHCHR)

Fact sheet: the right of migrant workers (UNHCHR)

Steering Committee: civil society organizations

December 18

Human Rights Watch

International Catholic Migration Commission

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions

International Organization for Migration

International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism

Public Services International

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

World Council of Churches

Migrants Rights International

On migration

Rights of migrants in the UN Commission on Human Rights 2004 (December 18)

Asian migration trail

Migrants' human rights not adequately recognised (Third World Network)

Analysis and opinions

Rich nations rebuff treaty protecting migrant workers (IPS News)

The UN treaty that rich nations are afraid of

The working caste (The American Prospect)

Migrant workers' convention not a magic solution (IPS)

Human rights of migrant workers: a house is not a home

Nations do not back UN migration conference (IPS)

Entry into force: articles and statements

Press Release by the Steering Committee on the occasion of the 20th ratification (December 18)

ICFTU: new treaty a major breakthrough for migrant workers (ICFTU)

Forum on the Convention (PMR´W)

Summary of the Panel Presentation Marking the Entry into Force of the Convention (Migrants Rights International)

As treaty on migrant workers enters into force, Annan urges nations to join effort (UN)

Joint Statement by ILO, IOM, UNHCHR and UNESCO (December 18)

Press release by Migrants Rights International (Migrants Rights International)

IOM welcomes the entry into force of the Convention (IOM)

As the treaty enters into force, migrant workers need protection (HRW)

The Migrant Watch on the entry into force (PMRW)

Migrant workers: a guide for NGOs (December 18)

Convention do not offer guarantees, forum says

WCAR and migration

Declaration of the Asia Pacific NGO Forum

Foundations of dignity: current dynamics of migration and the response of international standards (December 18)

Migration and trafficking (UNHCHR)

Report on WCAR from a migration perspective (ICMC)

Relevant paragraphs (Migrants Rights Internatioanl)

Declaration and Programme of Action

Steering Committee: intergovernmental organizations

International Labour Organization



The Seoul Statement

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