Migrant Workers Convention
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The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families is a United Nations multilateral treaty governing the protection of migrant workers and families. Signed on 18 December 1990, it entered into force on 1 July 2003 after the threshold of 20 ratifying States was reached in March 2003. The Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) monitors implementation of the convention, and is one of the seven UN-linked human rights treaty bodies. The convention applies as of October 2022 in 58 countries.
|Signed||18 December 1990|
|Effective||1 July 2003|
|Depositary||Secretary-General of the United Nations|
|Languages||Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish|
"It is time to take a more comprehensive look at the various dimensions of the migration issue, which now involves hundreds of millions of people, and affects countries of origin, transit and destination. We need to understand better the causes of international flows of people and their complex interrelationship with development." United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, from his report on strengthening the Organization, 9 November 2002.
The United Nations Convention constitutes a comprehensive international treaty regarding the protection of migrant workers' rights. It emphasizes the connection between migration and human rights, which is increasingly becoming a crucial policy topic worldwide. The Convention aims at protecting migrant workers and members of their families; its existence sets a moral standard, and serves as a guide and stimulus for the promotion of migrant rights in each country.
In the Preamble, the Convention recalls conventions by International Labour Organization on migrant workers: Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949, Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975, and on forced labour; Forced Labour Convention and Abolition of Forced Labour Convention as well as international human rights treaties including Convention against Discrimination in Education.
The primary objective of the Convention is to foster respect for migrants' human rights. Migrants are not only workers, they are also human beings. The Convention does not create new rights for migrants but aims at guaranteeing equality of treatment, and the same working conditions, including in case of temporary work, for migrants and nationals. The Convention innovates because it relies on the fundamental notion that all migrants should have access to a minimum degree of protection. The Convention recognizes that regular migrants have the legitimacy to claim more rights than irregular immigrants, but it stresses that irregular migrants must see their fundamental human rights respected, like all human beings.
In the meantime, the Convention proposes that actions be taken to eradicate clandestine movements, notably through the fight against misleading information inciting people to migrate irregularly, and through sanctions against traffickers and employers of undocumented migrants.
Article 7 of this Convention protects the rights of migrant workers and their families regardless of "sex, race, colour, language, religion or conviction, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, nationality, age, economic position, property, marital status, birth, or other status". And Article 29 protects rights of child of migrant worker to name, to registration of birth and to a nationality.
This Convention is also recalled by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the Preamble.
Parties and signatoriesEdit
As of August 2021 countries that have ratified the Convention are primarily countries of origin of migrants (such as Mexico, Morocco, and the Philippines). For these countries, the Convention is an important vehicle to protect their citizens living abroad. In the Philippines, for example, ratification of the Convention took place in a context characterized by several cases of Filipino workers being mistreated abroad: such cases hurt the Filipino population and prompted the ratification of the Convention. However, these countries are also transit and destination countries, and the Convention delineates their responsibility to protect the rights of migrants in their territory, and they have done little to protect those at home.
No migrant-receiving state in Western Europe or North America has ratified the Convention. Other important receiving countries, such as Australia, Arab states of the Persian Gulf, India and South Africa have not ratified the Convention.
|Albania||Party||5 June 2007||Accession||2,878,000|
|Algeria||Party||21 April 2005||Accession||43,851,000|
|Argentina||Party||10 August 2004||23 February 2007||Ratification||45,196,000|
|Armenia||Signatory||26 September 2013||2,963,000|
|Azerbaijan||Party||11 January 1999||Accession||10,139,000|
|Bangladesh||Party||7 October 1998||24 August 2011||Ratification||164,689,000|
|Belize||Party||14 November 2001||Accession||398,000|
|Benin||Party||15 September 2005||6 July 2018||Ratification||12,123,000|
|Bolivia||Party||16 October 2000||Accession||11,673,000|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Party||13 December 1996||Accession||3,281,000|
|Burkina Faso||Party||16 November 2001||26 November 2003||Ratification||20,903,000|
|Cabo Verde||Party||16 September 1997||Accession||556,000|
|Cambodia||Signatory||27 September 2004||16,719,000|
|Cameroon||Signatory||15 December 2009||26,546,000|
|Chad||Party||26 September 2012||22 February 2022||Ratification||16,426,000|
|Chile||Party||24 September 1993||21 March 2005||Ratification||19,116,000|
|Colombia||Party||24 May 1995||Accession||50,883,000|
|Comoros||Signatory||22 September 2000||870,000|
|Congo, Republic of the||Party||29 September 2008||31 March 2017||Ratification||5,518,000|
|Ecuador||Party||5 February 2002||Accession||17,643,000|
|Egypt||Party||19 February 1993||Accession||102,334,000|
|El Salvador||Party||13 September 2002||14 March 2003||Ratification||6,486,000|
|Fiji||Party||19 August 2019||Accession||896,000|
|Gabon||Signatory||15 December 2004||2,226,000|
|Gambia||Party||20 September 2017||28 September 2018||Ratification||2,417,000|
|Ghana||Party||7 September 2000||7 September 2000||Ratification||31,073,000|
|Guatemala||Party||7 September 2000||14 March 2003||Ratification||17,916,000|
|Guinea||Party||7 September 2000||Accession||13,133,000|
|Guinea-Bissau||Party||12 September 2000||22 October 2018||Ratification||1,968,000|
|Guyana||Party||15 September 2005||7 July 2010||Ratification||787,000|
|Haiti||Signatory||5 December 2013||11,403,000|
|Honduras||Party||9 August 2005||Accession||9,905,000|
|Indonesia||Party||22 September 2004||31 May 2012||Ratification||273,524,000|
|Jamaica||Party||25 September 2008||25 September 2008||Ratification||2,961,000|
|Kyrgyzstan||Party||29 September 2003||Accession||6,524,000|
|Lesotho||Party||24 September 2004||16 September 2005||Ratification||2,142,000|
|Liberia||Signatory||22 September 2004||5,058,000|
|Libya||Party||18 June 2004||Accession||6,871,000|
|Madagascar||Party||24 September 2014||13 May 2015||Ratification||27,691,000|
|Malawi||Party||23 September 2022||23 September 2022||Ratification||19,130,000|
|Mali||Party||5 June 2003||Accession||20,251,000|
|Mauritania||Party||22 January 2007||Accession||4,650,000|
|Mexico||Party||22 May 1991||8 March 1999||Ratification||128,933,000|
|Montenegro||Signatory||23 October 2006||628,000|
|Morocco||Party||15 August 1991||21 June 1993||Ratification||36,911,000|
|Mozambique||Party||15 March 2012||19 August 2013||Ratification||31,255,000|
|Nicaragua||Party||26 October 2005||Accession||6,625,000|
|Niger||Party||18 March 2009||Accession||24,207,000|
|Nigeria||Party||27 July 2009||Accession||206,140,000|
|Palau||Signatory||20 September 2011||18,000|
|Paraguay||Party||13 September 2000||23 September 2008||Ratification||7,133,000|
|Peru||Party||22 September 2004||14 September 2005||Ratification||32,972,000|
|Philippines||Party||15 November 1993||5 July 1995||Ratification||109,581,000|
|Rwanda||Party||15 December 2008||Accession||12,952,000|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||Party||6 September 2000||10 January 2017||Ratification||219,000|
|Senegal||Party||9 June 1999||Accession||16,744,000|
|Serbia||Signatory||11 November 2004||8,737,000|
|Seychelles||Party||15 December 1994||Accession||98,000|
|Sierra Leone||Signatory||15 September 2000||7,977,000|
|Sri Lanka||Party||11 March 1996||Accession||21,413,000|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Party||29 October 2010||Accession||111,000|
|Syria||Party||2 June 2005||Accession||17,501,000|
|Tajikistan||Party||7 September 2000||8 January 2002||Ratification||9,538,000|
|Timor-Leste||Party||30 January 2004||Accession||1,318,000|
|Togo||Party||15 November 2001||16 December 2020||Ratification||8,279,000|
|Turkey||Party||13 January 1999||27 September 2004||Ratification||84,339,000|
|Uganda||Party||14 November 1995||Accession||45,741,000|
|Uruguay||Party||15 February 2001||Accession||3,474,000|
|Venezuela||Party||4 October 2011||25 October 2016||Ratification||28,436,000|
Intersessional panel discussionEdit
In June/July 2022, at the Human Rights Council Fiftieth session, the Human Rights Council held an Intersessional panel discussion on the human rights of migrants in vulnerable situations that were previously stated under 35/17 and 47/12 resolutions. The High Commissioner pointed out concerns related to the criminalization of migration, gender-based violence, arbitrary detention, family separation, loss of lives, harmful and dehumanizing narratives, and pervasive discrimination owing to personal factors, including age, gender, or disability. The broader impact of COVID-19 was also highlighted. Statements were provided by panelists reiterating that all migrants, regardless of status, were entitled to all human rights. Concerns on situations of vulnerability that migrants encountered in transit and at borders and violence perpetrated against migrants, including by State and non-State actors were also referred. Calls were made for independent mechanisms to monitor human rights violations, increase attention to the human rights of migrants, the importance of international cooperation, and the need to translate these rights into adequate legal and regulatory provisions. Additional recommendations included the need for implementing comprehensive protection regimes to identify and address situations of vulnerability in the process of migration. Remarks were made on the need for the international community to understand the root causes of migration and the challenges associated with it, and the range of measures that are needed to respond adequately to those challenges. Annual panel discussions were suggested by the High Commissioner.
- Convention on domestic workers
- Foreign worker
- International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
- International Labour Organization
- International Migrants Day
- International Organization for Migration
- Migrant workers
- Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949
- Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- "13. International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. New York, 18 December 1990". UN Treaty base. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
- "United Nations Maintenance Page". www.un.org. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- Kinnear, Karen L. (2011). Women in Developing Countries: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 184. ISBN 9781598844252.
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Preamble,(d)
- Palmer, Wayne; Missbach, Antje (4 May 2019). "Enforcing labour rights of irregular migrants in Indonesia". Third World Quarterly. 40 (5): 908–925. doi:10.1080/01436597.2018.1522586. ISSN 0143-6597.
- Palmer, Wayne (2018). "Back Pay for Trafficked Migrant Workers: An Indonesian Case Study". International Migration. 56 (2): 56–67. doi:10.1111/imig.12376.
- "World Population Prospects 2019: Volume I: Comprehensive Tables" (PDF). United Nations. 2019. pp. 23–32. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 February 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- "Intersessional panel discussion on the human rights of migrants in vulnerable situations, 21 February 2022". United Nations. 21 February 2022. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
- Human Rights Council (21 February 2022). Summary of the intersessional panel discussion on the human rights of migrants in vulnerable situations; Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Report). United Nations. A/HRC/50/52. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
- Full text of the Convention (English)
- Full text of the Convention (Spanish)
- Signatures and ratifications
- The Committee on Migrant Workers (which monitors the implementation of the convention)
- The 2002 International Migration Report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division
- Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants
- UNESCO Programme on International Migration and Multicultural Policies: Project on the UN Convention on Migrants’ Rights
- International Labour Organization
- International Organization for Migration
- Migrants Rights International
- Migrant Forum in Asia
- Declaration on the Rights of Expelled and Deported Persons