COMMITTEE ON RIGHTS OF MIGRANT WORKERS HOLDS TWENTY-FIRST SESSION IN GENEVA FROM 1 TO 5 SEPTEMBER 2014
Committee to Review Reports of Belize and Ghana
28 August 2014
The twenty-first session of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families will meet at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 1 to 5 September 2014 to review the implementation by Belize and Ghana of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and make recommendations to these countries.
The Committee will open its session on Monday, 1 September at 10 a.m. when it will hear a statement by a representative of the Secretary-General. It will also adopt its agenda and programme of work, and discuss activities undertaken to promote the Convention. In the afternoon, the Committee will start its consideration of the initial report of Belize, which will conclude on Tuesday, 2 September at 1 p.m. The Committee will take up the initial report of Ghana in the afternoon of the same day, to be concluded on Wednesday, 3 September.
During the session, the Committee will also hold meetings with UN entities and agencies (closed), and non-governmental organizations (public) and national human rights institutions (public). For the rest of the session the Committee will convene in closed meetings to discuss its methods of work, harmonization of treaty body working methods and other issues arising out of the treaty body strengthening process, as well as its involvement in and support for various events promoting the Convention. It will also adopt lists of issues for the initial report of Peru, and lists of issues prior to reporting for Lesotho and Mauritania, under its simplified reporting procedure.
The session will be closed in a public meeting starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, 5 September.
More information is available on the Committee’s webpage for the session.
More than 232 million migrants, including migrant workers, refugees, asylum-seekers, permanent immigrants and others, live and work in a country other than that of their birth or citizenship. They represent more than three per cent of the world's population.
The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families entered into force on 1 July 2003. The Convention seeks to play a role in preventing and eliminating the exploitation of migrant workers as well as ensuring the protection of their human rights throughout the entire migration process. It provides a set of binding international standards to address the treatment, welfare and human rights of both documented and undocumented migrants, as well as the obligations and responsibilities on the part of sending and receiving States and States of transit. To date, 47 States have ratified the treaty.
The Committee of 14 experts was created to monitor how States parties to the Convention comply with their obligations under the treaty. States parties accept the obligation to report to the Committee on the steps they have taken to implement the Convention. States must report initially within a year of its entry into force for the State concerned, and thereafter every five years.
The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
The Convention is applicable to all migrant workers and members of their families without distinction of any kind such as 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. It applies during the entire migration process of migrant workers and members of their families, which comprises preparation for migration, departure, transit and the entire period of stay and remunerated activity in the State of employment as well as return to the State of origin or the State of habitual residence.
Listed among their human rights, the Convention states that migrant workers and members of their families shall be free to leave any State, including their State of origin; migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right at any time to enter and remain in their State of origin; the right to life of migrant workers and members of their families shall be protected by law; no migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; no migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be held in slavery or servitude; and no migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour. The Convention also prohibits collective expulsion of migrant workers and members of their families. It further establishes that all migrant workers shall enjoy treatment not less favourable than that which applies to nationals of the State of employment in respect of remuneration and other conditions of work and terms of employment, as well as access to emergency medical care. Each child of a migrant worker has the basic right of access to education on the basis of equality of treatment with nationals of the State concerned. Moreover, migrant workers in a regular situation enjoy the right to form associations and trade unions as well as equality of treatment with the nationals of the State in relation to access to educational, social and health services.
The Convention also imposes a series of obligations on States parties in the interest of promoting "sound, equitable, humane and lawful conditions" for the international migration of workers and members of their families. These requirements include the establishment of policies on migration; the exchange of information with other States parties; the provision of information to employers, workers and their organizations on policies, laws and regulations; and assistance to migrant workers and their families.
Implementation of the Convention
The Convention is monitored by the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, consisting of 14 Experts serving in a personal capacity.
States parties accept the obligation to report on the steps they have taken to implement the Convention within a year of its entry into force for the State concerned, and thereafter every five years. Under the treaty, a State party may also recognize the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals within that State's jurisdiction who claim that their rights under the Convention have been violated. So far, Guatemala, Mexico and Uruguay have recognized the Committee’s competence in this respect.
Other International Mechanisms for Protection of Migrants
The Convention reinforces other measures already taken by the United Nations to ensure adequate protection of all migrant workers and their families. The International Labour Organization has been in the forefront of efforts to secure and maintain a fair deal for migrant workers and their families since the 1920s. A Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council looks at ways and means to overcome obstacles to the full and effective protection of the human rights of migrants, including difficulties for the return of those who are "undocumented".
States Parties to the Convention
The Convention was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by the General Assembly in December 1990. To date, it has been ratified or acceded to by the following 47 States: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Syria, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Uganda and Uruguay.
Members of the Committee
The members of the Committee are Mr. José S. Brillantes (Philippines); Mr. Francisco Carrion Mena (Ecuador); Ms. Salome Castellanos Delgado (Honduras); Mr. Pablo Ceriani Cernadas (Argentina); Ms. Fatoumata Abdourhamana Dicko (Mali); Mr. Ahmed Hassan El-Borai (Egypt); Mr. Abdelhamid El Jamri (Morocco); Mr. Md. Sahidul Haque (Bangladesh); Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam (Sri Lanka); Ms. Khedidia Ladjel (Algeria); Mr. Marco Nunez-Melgar Maguina (Peru); Mr. Germain Zong-Naba Pime (Burkina Faso); Mr. Azad Taghizade (Azerbaijan); and Mr. Ahmadou Tall (Senegal).
Programme of Work
Monday, 1 September
10 a.m. Opening of session, solemn declarations by newly elected members of the
Committee, election of officers, adoption of the agenda and consideration
of the programme of work
11 a.m. Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations and national
human rights institutions
12 p.m. Informal meeting with the United Nations bodies and specialized
3 p.m. Consideration of the initial report of Belize (CMW/C/BLZ/1)
Tuesday, 2 September
10 a.m. Consideration of the initial report of Belize (continued)
3 p.m. Consideration of the initial report of Ghana (CMW/C/GHA/1)
Wednesday, 3 September
10 a.m. Consideration of the initial report of Ghana (continued)
3 p.m. Closed Meeting
Thursday, 4 September
10 a.m. Closed Meeting
3 p.m. Closed Meeting
Friday, 5 September
10 a.m. Closed Meeting
3 p.m. Public closing of the session
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