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18th December – International Migrant’s Day

On December 18, 2007

Migrant Rights in the Middle East

18th December – International Migrant’s Day
Global Campaign for the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families

What is the International convention on Rights of Migrant workers and members of their families?
The UN and other Key Organizations have always been aware of the importance and extent of the migration phenomenon, which involves millions of people and affects a large number of States in the world.

Considering this and the situation of vulnerability, in which these migrants frequently find themselves on account of their employment states in foreign countries, the international community is convinced of the need to bring about international protection of the rights of all migrant workers and their families, reaffirming and establishing basic norms in a convention which could be applied universally.

On 18th December 1990, at the United Nations, General Assembly ‘The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all migrant workers and members of their families’ was adopted. This later entered into force on 1st July 2003

This Convention firmly establishes the rights of all those persons (including families who accompany them) who are currently engaged or will engage in employment in a country of which they are not a national (MIGRANT)

Within the framework of employment or otherwise the convention states the migrant’s and their family’s economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.

It also looks at the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, against all migrants but in particular against women and the rights of the Children.

It clearly states the rights of migrants in abusive conditions and works towards the promotion of equality of opportunity and better treatment. It states the rights of migrants in situations of forced or compulsory labour and works towards its total abolition.

Why is Ratification of the convention Necessary?

The need for stronger protection of the rights of migrants was felt throughout the world and this was the driving forces that lead to the adoption of the Convention by the UN. Now this convention must be implemented through national ratification and legislation.

For the convention to ‘ enter into force”, twenty UN member states must ratify the convention and so far nineteen states have now acceded to the convention: Azerbaijan, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka Tajikistan, Uganda and Uruguay.

Eleven states have signed the Convention, which is a step towards ratification: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chile, Comoros, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Paraguay, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Togo and Turkey.

Governments all over the world have to be convinced that ratification of the Convention is necessary. This secures the rights of migrants on an international base.

Organisations that support this Convention and are members of the Steering Committee.

December 18

Human Rights Watch

International Catholic Migration Commission

International Trade Union Confederation

International Labour Office

International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism

International Organization for Migration

Migrant Forum in Asia

Migrants Rights International

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Public Services International


Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

World Council of Churches

Why do we support the Convention?

* The convention and its ratification is backed by the international community and key organizations that are working to ensure that migrants across the world have laws that protect them

* The convention will guarantee the rights of migrant workers and their families in the Middle East, which is currently lacking.

* It fights and would work towards abolishing the abusive and discriminatory conditions, under which so many of migrants and their families work in the Middle East

* The articles stated in the convention, would have to be adopted as part of the country’s national laws and practices, which means the change in the current discriminatory laws and practices. The migrants would have a system to support them in illegal or abusive employment and the state would provide them adequate and appropriate help.

* Finally, the success of the campaign is grounded in its purpose being adopted and promoted by hundreds of organizations and people who may or may not be formally affiliated to the campaign

What we need to do to strengthen the campaign?

* Create awareness about the current situation of the migrants in the Middle East.
* Create awareness about the about the International Convention on the protection of the rights of Migrants
* Collaborate with other local, regional and international groups/ units or organizations in spreading awareness on the convention.
* Build contacts with diplomats, politicians and or government employees in the region.

Read the “International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families”

If you are a...

-NGO Proprietor / Representative
-Charity Organization
-Government Representative
-Religious Representative

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