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Statement by the UN Committee on Migrant Workers and the Special Rapporteur Bustamante
Date: 18/12/2009 - 00:45
Migrants are increasingly exposed to commoditisation and human rights violations GENEVA – Despite the increased efforts of the international community, including civil society, in promoting sound, equitable, humane and lawful conditions of migration, the human rights of migrants often remain out of sight and migrants continue being exposed to commoditisation and human rights violations. Today, as we celebrate International Migrants Day 2009, we would like to draw your attention to the situation of two particularly vulnerable groups among them: migrant domestic workers and children.
This year, the Committee on Migrant Workers examined the question of migrant domestic workers during its 11th session at a day of general discussion, which was attended by State representatives, UN agencies and members of civil society. In light of the contributions made at this event, we strongly recommend all States, whether of origin or destination, to implement gender-sensitive legislation that extends the protections of international labour standards to migrant domestic workers.
We also call on Governments to curb abuses of recruitment agencies, enhance legal channels for migration and open up judicial mechanisms to victims of abuse, regardless of their immigration status. As there is currently no international convention specific to domestic workers, we welcome the work being done at the ILO to consider a new instrument on domestic workers, which we hope will significantly close the protection gap.
The situation of migrant children also remains a particular concern, especially those who are unaccompanied and at risk of being smuggled or trafficked. We urge all States to integrate a child rights-based approach in migration laws, policies and programmes. In particular, we encourage countries to provide access to education, health care and birth registration to all children, including migrant children in an irregular situation.
It is important to recall that all migrants are protected by human rights and labour standards, including the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, regardless of immigration status. Migrant children—whether accompanied or not and whatever their migratory status—are equally entitled to all the rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Today also marks the beginning of the year leading up to the 20th anniversary of the adoption by the General Assembly of the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families*. Together with other actors in this field, we take this opportunity to intensify our advocacy for the ratification and implementation of this Convention and we urge all States to become a party to the Convention as a matter of priority.
(*) International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cmw.htm
Lear more about the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW):
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Jorge A. Bustamante: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/migration/rapporteur/index.htm
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