COMMITTEE ON RIGHTS OF MIGRANT WORKERS HOLDS EIGHTEENTH SESSION IN GENEVA FROM 15 TO 26 APRIL 2013
Committee to Review Reports Presented by Azerbaijan, Bolivia and Colombia
11 April 2013
The eighteenth 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 15 to 26 April 2013 to review the implementation by Azerbaijan, Bolivia and Colombia 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, 15 April at 10 a.m., when it will hear from a representative of the Secretary-General. It will also adopt its agenda and programme of work and discuss activities to promote the Convention.
In the afternoon, the Committee will start the consideration of the second periodic report of Colombia, which will conclude on Tuesday, 16 April at 1 p.m. The Committee will take up the second periodic report of Bolivia on Tuesday, 17 April, in the afternoon, to be concluded on Wednesday, 17 April at 1 p.m. The Committee will consider the second periodic report of Azerbaijan on Wednesday, 17 April, in the afternoon, to be concluded on Thursday, 18 April at 1 p.m.
The Committee will also establish lists of issues for Burkina Faso and Morocco on their initial reports, which will be considered at a future session of the Committee. In addition, under its simplified reporting procedure, the Committee will also establish lists of issues prior to reporting for Belize, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Uganda. Under this procedure, the lists of issues and the replies by the State parties thereto constitute the report of the State party without the State party having to submit a report under the traditional reporting procedure. The simplified procedure not only reduces the administrative burden on States that are subject to numerous reporting requirements but also leads to a more focused discussion with State parties on priority concerns.
During the session, the Committee will hold meetings with UN entities and agencies (closed), non-governmental organizations (public) and national human rights institutions (public) on Monday, 15 April after the opening meeting. On Monday 22 April, the Committee will hold a general discussion on the importance of migration statistics for treaty reporting and migration policies from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will also hold an informal, closed meeting with States signatories and parties to the Convention in the afternoon on 22 April. The Committee will meet in closed session for the rest of the time, until the public closing on Friday, 26 April, at 5 p.m.
The Committee considered the initial report of Colombia in 2009 and its concluding observations and recommendations on the report can be found in (CMW/C/COL/CO/1). It reviewed the initial report of Bolivia in 2008 and its concluding observations and recommendations on the report can be found in (CMW/C/BOL/CO/1). It considered the initial report of Kazakhstan in 2009 and its concluding observations and recommendations on the report can be found in /CMW/C/AZE/CO/1).
Further information is available on the Committee’s webpage.
More than 190 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 almost 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, 46 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 46 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, 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. Fatoumata Abdourhamana Dicko (Mali); Mr. Ahmed Hassan El-Borai (Egypt); Mr. Abdelhamid El Jamri (Morocco); Mr. Miguel Angel Ibarra Gonzalez (Guatemala); Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam (Sri Lanka); Ms. Khedidia Ladjel (Algeria); Ms. Andrea Miller-Stennett (Jamaica); Mr. Marco Nunez-Melgar Maguina (Peru); Ms. Myriam Poussi (Burkina Faso); Mr. Mehmet Sevim (Turkey); Mr. Azad Taghizadet (Azerbaijan); and Mr. Ahmadou Tall (Senegal).
Abdelhamid El Jamri is the Committee Chairperson; Mr. Carrion Mena, Ms. Poussi and Mr. Taghizadet are the Vice-Chairpersons; and Mr. Tall is the Committee Rapporteur.
Programme of Work (public meetings)
Monday, 15 April
10 a.m. Opening of session, adoption of agenda and informal meeting with non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions
3 p.m. Consideration of the second periodic report of Colombia CMW/C/COL/2
Tuesday, 16 April
10 a.m. Colombia (continued)
3 p.m. Consideration of the second periodic report of Bolivia CMW/C/BOL/2
Wednesday, 17 April
10 a.m. Bolivia (continued)
3 p.m. Consideration of the second periodic report of Azerbaijan CMW/C/AZE/2
Thursday, 18 April
10 a.m. Azerbaijan (continued)
3 p.m. Closed meeting
Monday, 22 April
10 a.m. Day of general discussion: The importance of migration statistics for treaty reporting and migration policies
3 p.m. Meeting with States signatories and parties (closed)
Friday, 26 April
5 p.m. Closing of the session (The closing may be earlier. Please check the time with the secretariat of the Committee).
For use of the information media; not an official record