UNESCO Project on the International Migrants' Rights Convention

The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families entered into force in July 2003. Its primary objective is to protect migrant workers and their families, a particularly vulnerable population, from exploitation and the violation of their human rights.

UNESCO advocates ratification of this convention by all states and disseminates information about this convention and other legal instruments concerning migrants.

Project Description

In order to better understand the existing possibilities for an extended application of the Convention, UNESCO undergoes series of studies on some countries to know about the obstacles to the ratification of the Convention and about the social and political impacts of such a ratification.

Case studies will be followed by the dissemination of information and advice in specific regions in order to give a better visibility and understanding of the Convention.

Available Reports

Asia-Pacific

Identification of the obstacles to the signing and ratification of the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers: the Asia-Pacific Perspective [PDF, 394 KB]

Identification of the obstacles to the signing and ratification of the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers: the Asia-Pacific perspective; executive summary [PDF, 61 KB]

Impact of Ratifying the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Family: Case Studies of the Philippines and Sri Lanka [PDF, 419 KB]

Identification of the Obstacles to the Signing and Ratification of the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers 1990: China [PDF, 259 KB]

Promoting a Process to Encourage Ratification of the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Family: Bangladesh, Korea and New Zealand [PDF, 249 KB]

Africa

The Rights of migrants workers and members of their families: Nigeria [PDF, 136 KB]

Canada

Identification of the Obstacles to the Ratification of the United Nations International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families: The Canadian Case [PDF, 166 KB]

Central and Eastern Europe

Labour migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: current issues and next political steps [PDF, 136 KB]

The Protection of the rights of migrants workers in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS and perspectives of joining the 1990 UN Convention [PDF, 566 KB]

European Union

Obstacles to the Ratification of the International Convention on Migrants’ Rights, Summary of the Main Findings of UNESCO Country Reports on Migrants’ Rights [PDF, 195 KB]
Speech by Paul de Guchteneire and Antoine Pécoud during the European Economic and Social Committee on the Convention on Migrants' Rights, Brussels, 4 May 2004

The Migrant workers convention in Europe: obstacles to the ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; EU/EEA perspectives [PDF, 730 KB]

Present Research

At the moment, UNESCO leads research on the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Only one SADC state (the Seychelles) has ratified the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (hereinafter “Convention”). The broad aim of the project is to promote the ratification of the Convention in SADC and therefore also promote its ratification in the wider African region and other parts of the world. Specifically, the project will investigate why selected SADC countries have not ratified the Convention to date, the obstacles to ratification and whether they are likely to ratify the Convention in the near future. A supplementary avenue of investigation will relate to whether ratification by the countries examined is dependant on the acceptance of the Convention by the SADC as a whole. The project will also make recommendations on what could be done to foster the ratification of the Convention by SADC states including identification of key stakeholders and specific steps to be undertaken.

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