1st July 2003, Migrant Workers Convention enters into force. Singapore has not ratified the Convention. Think Centre calls on the Singapore government to sign and ratify the convention which aims at guaranteeing equality of treatment and the same working conditions for migrants and nationals.
On July 1st, 2003, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families will enter into force, after the threshold of 20 ratifying states was reached in March 2003. For the full text
Welcoming this important event, 290 migrants rights organisations, unions, NGOs, and other civil society actors are calling upon their governments to implement this new UN Convention or if they have not yet done so, to ratify this international human rights instrument. For the full text of the joint letter
Coinciding with the entry into force of the UN Migrants Rights Convention 2003, UNESCO has released an Information Kit, For the full text of UNESCO Information Kit
Think Centre highlights key points from the UNESCO Information Kit below:
Today, one human being out of 35 is an international migrant. The number of people who have settled down in a country other than their own is estimated at 175 million worldwide. This represents 3 per cent of the world population, and is comparable to the population of Brazil. Nearly all countries are concerned by international migration, whether as sending, transit, or receiving countries, or as a combination of those. International migration has become an intrinsic feature of globalisation.
The Convention constitutes a comprehensive international treaty regarding the protection of migrant workers' rights. It emphasises the connection between migration and human rights, which is increasingly becoming a crucial policy topic worldwide.
"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". UN Secretary General Kofi Annan [from his report on strengthening the organisation, 09/11/2002]
The Convention aims at protecting migrant workers ; its existence sets a moral standard and serves as a guide and stimulus for the promotion of migrant rights in each country.
The following countries have ratified the Convention as of June 2003: Azerbaijan, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uruguay.
A PRIORITY: THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS
The major objective of the Convention is to foster respect of 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 for migrants and nationals. This implies notably:
Migrants should also have the right to remain connected to their country of origin, says the Convention. This implies:
Regular or irregular, all migrants are entitled to a minimal degree of protection
The Convention innovates because it relies on the fundamental notion that all migrants should have access to a minimal degree of protection. The Convention recognises that legal migrants have the legitimacy to claim more rights than undocumented migrants, but it stresses that undocumented migrants must see their fundamental human rights respected, like all human beings.
In the mean time, 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 smugglers and employers of undocumented migrants.
Sources and Links
Full text of the UN Convention: International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
UNESCO Information Kit: Information Kit
International Steering Committee: Campaign for Ratification of the Migrants' Rights Convention
The list of events around the world to mark the entry into force of the Convention: The list of events around the world
Since 1999, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights UNHCHR has appointed a Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. The position is currently held by Ms. Gabriela Rodriguez Pizarro from Costa Rica. to the All documents related the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division publishes an International Migration Report every year. The 2002 edition of the International Migration Report
International Labour Organization (ILO): Migrants
International Organization for Migration (IOM): Migration
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): Migration
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Refugees
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW): CEDAW Reports
International Labour Organisation: Sitemap
UN HCHR: MIGRANTS
UN HCHR: MIGRANTS WORKERS CONVENTION