Source: Migreurop
For its annual report on the European borders, Migreurop has chosen to emphasize three main steps of the fights led by the authorities against the candidates to migration: the controls of their movements, detention and deportation. Denouncing the « externalization » process of the European union migratory policy, Migreurop shows how third countries are obliged, through the threat of the reconsideration of cooperation agreements and development aid, not only to readmit the migrants chased from Europe, but also to keep them on their own territory from travelling towards its doors. [see more]
Human mobility has always existed at all times linked to different historical processes. Nowadays, when migratory movements have been intensified, theories of migration have tended to concentrate on what causes people to move to new countries, focusing on structural conditions such as recomposition of capital or globalisation of markets, national policies, wage differentials between countries, natural disasters, political persecution, armed conflicts, poverty, etc.

According to the report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants at the 61st session of the Commission on Human Rights, migratory flows “originate in socio-economic inequality and unequal human rights, and are swelled by the attraction of more developed countries, which offer well-being, opportunities and democratic freedoms". (E/CN.4/2005/85, pdf)

One of the priorities identified in this report "has been to promote ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which provides a suitable legal framework for the adoption of policies on migration management that respect migrants’ human rights and fundamental freedoms".

This situation of mobility takes place alongside an increased control of borders by developed countries. The latter have strengthened and applied new technologies to hunt for undocumented migrants. A serious case to be taken into account is the situation along the US-Mexico border, where even US paramilitary groups intervene to prevent the entrance of people from its neighbour country. These measures have been intensified after the September 11 attack on New York, and many times the anti-terrorist justification has served several countries to implement anti-immigration policies which were already being applied for other reasons. These policies are generally applied in a selective manner: migration due to certain labour demands is authorized, those who do not find a job are expelled and those who are in an illegal situation are punished.

However, according to several studies, an increased border control fails to prevent the growth of global mobility, since this is already structurally embedded in the economies and societies of most countries, while at the same time it brings forward the discussion on the rights of all people to move freely. Undocumented migration can be interpreted as the expression of people’s claim to their right to migrate, a right already included in other universal rights (See "Global Migration Perspectives. Migration without borders: an investigation into the free movement of people” , April 2005, UNESCO, pdf).

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 13.1) and other treaties acknowledge the rights of all people to move freely and choose their residence within a State. Said rights should be understood in their both senses: the capacity of all human beings to freely circulate and move and to choose residence without impediment or obstacles placed by the State or third parties; and in the other sense, the right to legally remain wherever they wish, without being forced to abandon their place of residence against their will.

"The implementation of international treaties on human rights is essential to ensure respect for the human rights of migrants. The most relevant of such treaties to the rights of migrants, the 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (MWC) entered into force in July 2003. However, it has been ratified only by 27 countries. In the meantime, 116 countries have ratified all six treaties on human rights: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, 1966), International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD, 1965), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 1979), Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT, 1984) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1989) . Together with the MWC, these seven conventions are known as the “core international human rights treaties”. All of them contain strong non-discriminatory clauses ensuring applicability of many provisions to migrants” . (Excerpted from the research carried out by the International Catholic Migration Commission – ICMC, and December 18, with the support of UNESCO: "The UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies and Migrant Workers: a Samizdat", pdf.).

There are other analysis of this reality that attempt to delve deeply into the large variety of existing situations, without forgetting about the options and desires of people, whether poor or rich, and which draw attention to reductionist positions that tend to victimise migrants. According to Laura Agustín, “There is a growing tendency to victimise poor people, weak people, uneducated people and migrant people. The trend, which began as a way of drawing attention to specific forms of violence committed against women, has now become a way of describing everyone on the lower rungs of power. Routinely, supporters position them as victims in order to claim rights for them, but this move also turns them into victims, and victims need help, need saving—which gives a primary role to supporters. Much rhetoric about migration has fallen into this pattern: migrants, it turns out, are not only vulnerable to exploitation, a patent truth, but they are ‘victims’”. ( From "Forget victimisation: granting agency to migrants", Agustín, pdf.).

The United Nations General Assembly prepares a high-level dialogue on international migration in 2006, which is regarded as an opportunity to address the different elements of the migration phenomenon. Above all, for the purpose of making more visible –and if possible, eliminating– the gap existing between the acknowledgement of the rights of migrants by the human rights international system and their reality. At this future instance, the idea is also to encourage the cooperation of different UN agencies and to formulate certain principles that would define a multilateral framework for the management of migration.
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      Versión en español
Monday, December 13 2010
European borders: controls, detention and deportations
(Source: Migreurop)
Wednesday, June 23 2010
New report on irregular migration and migrant smuggling
(Source: December 18)
Wednesday, February 11 2009
African immigrants in the United States
(Source: Migration Policy Institute)
more on this issue

Migration: a global issue

Data and research on human trafficking: a global survey (International Organization for Migration (IOM))

Revisiting the migration and trafficking nexus: the South Asian scenario (Sari)

Migration without borders: an investigation into the Free Movement of People (UNESCO)

The Millennium Development Goals and Migration (International Organization for Migration - IOM)

Protecting migrant workers in a globalized world (Migration Information Source)

International migration, remittances and development: myths and fact (GCIM)

Papers from the World Congress Human Movement and Immigration

Strangers in foreign lands: diversity, vulnerability and the rights of migrants (UNESCO)

Migration and development: a perspective from Asia (International Organization for Migration - IOM)

Migration within the UN human rights system: official information

High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development - 14-15 September 2006 (United Nations General Assembly)

United Nations calls on States to ratify treaty protecting migrants rights (U.N.)

Migration: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) (OHCHR)

Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the human rights of migrants (OHCHR)

The core international human rights instruments and their monitoring bodies (OHCHR)

NGLS Roundup: human rights of migrants (UN-NGLS)

Fact sheet: the right of migrant workers (UNHCHR)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Globalization, labour and migration: protection is paramount (ILO)

Text of the Conventions (ILO)

ILO on International Labour Migration

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

Migration and the WCAR

Migration and trafficking (OHCHR)

Declaration and Programme of Action (OHCHR)

Declaration of the Asia Pacific NGO Forum

Elements for an NGO Program of Action (Migrants Rights International)

Gender and migration

In Southern Africa, women are changing the face of migration (INSTRAW)

State of world population 2006: women and inernational migration (UNFPA)

Feminized migration in East and Southeast Asia: policies, actions and empowerment (UNRISD)

Gender and migration (BRIDGE)

Helping women who sell sex: the construction of benevolent identities (Rhizomes)

Everywhere, yet invisible (India Together)

Dignity and respect for the human rights of women migrant domestic workers

Sex, gender and migrations: facing up to ambiguous realities

Migrant women (WHRnet)

Special issue of the Migration Information Source on women and migration (Migration Information Source)

Colombo Declaration (CARAM Asia)

Special reports

European borders: controls, detention and deportations (Migreurop)

New report on irregular migration and migrant smuggling (December 18)

African immigrants in the United States (Migration Policy Institute)

United States - Mexico: walls, abuses, and deaths at the borders (International Federation of Human Rights)

Concerns about the fundamental rights of undocumented migrants in Europe (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants - PICUM)

Migrant worker remittances: a way out of poverty? (Social Watch)

Morocco: from emigration country to Africa's migration passage to Europe (Migration Policy Institute)

Migrant world (BBC)

Migration Dialogue

New approaches to migration

Migration policy: from control to governance (Open Democracy)

The boundaries of belonging: reflections on migration Policies into the 21st Century (Inter Pares)

Forget victimisation: granting agency to migrants

Interview with Saskia Sassen (16 Beaver)

The transnational turn in migration studies (Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM))

Migration within the UN human rights system: analysis

Report on migration and development "lacks gender perspective on migration" (Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD))

How to strengthen protection of migrant workers and members of their families with international human rights treaties (International Catholic Migration Commission – ICMC)

Convention on the rights of migrants

The UN treaty monitoring bodies and migrant workers: a Samizdat (December 18)

Other UN bodies and interagency information

High-Level Dialogue and Hearings on International Migration (UN-NGLS)

African migration: from tensions to solutions (Africa Renewal - U.N. Department of Public Information)

UNESCO on international migration and multicultural policies

The International Migration Policy Programme papers and statements (IMPP)

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

Intergovernmental initiatives

International Organization for Migrations

The Berne Initiative (IOM)

Regional Conference on Migration

Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM)

Specialized organizations

December 18

Sin Fronteras

Migrant Rights International

International Movement Against all forms of Discrimination and Racism

International Catholic Migration Commission

Southern African Migration Project

CARAM Asia- Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility

MFA- Migrant Forum in Asia

Philippine Migrants Rights Watch

Global IDP (Internally Displaced Person) Project

Forced Migrations Review

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