Header image for news printout

保护移徙工人权利委员会审议莱索托的首份报告(部分翻译)

移徙工人权利委员会

2016年4月13日

保护所有移徙工人及其家庭成员权利委员会今天上午结束审议莱索托关于其落实《保护所有移徙工人及其家庭成员权利国际公约》条款情况的首份报告。
 
莱索托内政大臣勒克赫托·拉古瓦内(Lekhetho Rakuoane)呈报了报告,并表示在保护移徙工人及其家人的权利方面已取得了重大进展,有关这个问题的法律数量就是证明。政府已与南非签署了劳动合作谅解备忘录,旨在规范和解决有关半熟练移徙工人的问题。2011年的反贩运人口法已获得通过,一组执法官员自2015年组建以来已解救了20名贩运受害者。莱索托很容易受到全球金融危机的影响,该国已经为创造就业和消除贫困采取了措施。尽管已有协助农民的措施,但因为多变的气象条件和气候变化,生产力并未有相应的积极变化。就此,莱索托宣布了粮食不安全的紧急状态,呼吁国际社会加以援助。 
 
对话期间,专家们指出了莱索托特殊的地理状况,并就其与南非在移徙相关问题上的合作提出了一些问题。委员会专家们就矿业工人受到的虐待、中国人受到的仇外态度以及对男女同性恋、双性恋和跨性别者的歧视提出了多项关切。他们指出,莱索托艾滋病毒/艾滋病十分普遍,并询问了这如何影响其移民政策。他们鼓励莱索托加强努力落实和传播《公约》。
  
委员会成员兼莱索托国家报告员何塞·布里连特斯(Jose Brillantes)在总结发言中祝贺代表团让对话尽可能地丰富而有建设性。委员会现在将制定建议,并鼓励莱索托执行这些建议。 
 
拉古瓦内先生在总结发言中向委员会保证,莱索托将继续努力,更好地保护移民权利,解决遗留挑战,充分与国际社会和人权文书配合。莱索托将加强有关登记和打击无国籍现象的努力。 
 
会议期间,委员会选举了委员会专家何塞·布里连特斯担任主席。委员会专家巴勃罗·塞里亚尼·塞纳达斯(Pablo Ceriani Cernadas)、法图玛塔·阿卜杜哈马纳·迪科(Fatoumata Abdourhamane Dicko)和嘉斯敏卡·祖荷(Jasminka Dzumhur)当选副主席,阿卜迪哈米德·阿里-加姆里(Abdelhamid El Jamri)当选委员会报告员。 
 
委员会将在今天下午3点复会,开始审议塞内加尔的第二和第三次合并定期报告(CMW/C/SEN/2-3)。 

报告


莱索托的首份报告请见:CMW/C/LSO/1

Presentation of the Report


LEKHETHO RAKUOANE, Minister of Home Affairs of Lesotho, said that Lesotho perceived State party reporting and reviewing as an effective tool for an open, objective and constructive assessment of achievements, shortcomings and challenges in implementing the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Lesotho had a dualist system, meaning that international treaties were effected by enactments of Acts of Parliament. The Constitution was the supreme law of the land and guaranteed the principles of equality, non-discrimination and freedom from inhumane or degrading treatment. The obligations under the Convention were realized through Acts of Parliament, subsidiary legislation and policies reviewed regularly to ensure that they remained relevant for the protection of migrants.

The Children’s Protection and Welfare Act 2011 protected the rights of all children in conflict and affected by the law, and established the children’s court. The rights of children of migrant workers in Lesotho were secured equally as those of other children. The Labour Code Order 1992 was currently under review, with a view to strengthen the legislation of recruitment agencies, enabling them to carry out proper follow-up on people they recruit. This would contribute to combatting human trafficking. Although socio-economic rights were not justiciable, the Government had put measures in place to safeguard them. The Education Act 2010 provided for free and compulsory primary education for all children and further set up a penalty for parents or guardians keeping children at home. This measure had also assisted in reducing child exploitation. The Government provided free health services in clinics at minimal cost.

There had been significant progress in the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families, as evidenced by the number of laws pertaining to this issue. The Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Labour Cooperation with South Africa in November 2013 to regulate and address issues relating to semi-skilled migrant workers travelling from Lesotho to South Africa. This agreement also covered issues of dispute resolution, social dialogue and cooperation between the two countries. A large number of persons relied on migration, and proper regulation of migration issues could contribute enormously to the development of countries of origin and destination.

Although notable progress had been achieved, challenges remained. Lesotho had witnessed an increase in human trafficking, particularly against women and children. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2011 had been adopted, and intensive awareness-raising measures had also been carried out, in partnership with civil society organizations, law enforcement officials, and local authorities. In March 2011, the Ministry of Social Development had trained 21 persons on basic trafficking victim identification. A team of law enforcement officials had, since its establishment in 2015, managed to rescue 20 victims of trafficking and had secured 17 cases of which 10 were before the courts and 7 were still pending investigation. Lesotho had been vulnerable to the effects of the global financial crisis. Worsening unemployment rates had affected labour migration flows. Basotho mineworkers in South Africa had been laid off with dire financial and social consequences, especially in rural areas. To address this challenge, efforts had been undertaken for job creation and poverty elimination, including through measures to strengthen small and medium businesses. Despite efforts made to assist farmers, productivity had not responded positively due to ever changing weather conditions and climate change. Pursuant to this, in 2015 a state of emergency on food insecurity was declared by the Prime Minister, calling for assistance from the international community.

Questions by the Experts


JOSE BRILLANTES, Committee Member and Country Rapporteur for Lesotho, commended Lesotho’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. He noted that there had been no punishment or conviction yet under this particular law, and asked whether Lesotho was facing any difficulty in its implementation that the Committee could help resolve. He pointed at the fact that the body in charge of the implementation of this legislation had not received any funding. The Expert then recalled that Lesotho was a country landlocked inside South Africa, and asked how immigration relations with South Africa were managed. What was the role of Lesotho’s consular services? Continuing, he noted that Lesotho had one of the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world, and asked how this affected the country’s migration policies. Mr. Brillantes noted that there had been reports of violations in relation to the mining industry in South Africa, and asked what had been done in that regard. Moving on, he referred to reports of “Sinophobia”, or xenophobia against Chinese immigrants in Lesotho, and asked how this was being handled by the Government. Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity also seemed not to be properly addressed. Was civil society consulted for the preparation of Lesotho’s initial report? Would Lesotho proceed to establish a national human rights institution in compliance with the Paris Principles? Was there a programme for family reunification?

With regards to the domestication of the Convention, an Expert noted that the Constitution provided that international treaties had legal value only when incorporated by a law. No legislation had been enacted to transpose the provisions of the Convention, he regretted. Moreover, some pieces of Lesotho’s legislation were not in line with the Convention.

An Expert asked whether measures had been taken to control the recruitment of migrant workers by private employment agencies.

With regards to international human rights instruments, an Expert regretted that Lesotho had not ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

A Committee Member asked what would be done to ensure that the national human rights institution was in full compliance with the Paris Principles.

An Expert asked some questions on gender equality and gender parity in State institutions.

Turning to family issues, a Committee Member noted some gaps in the national legislation to ensure that all new-born children had a nationality and to combat statelessness.

Child labour seemed to continue despite the adoption of legislation on this issue, Experts noted. Was there any action plan for the implementation of this legislation?

What measures ensured that foreign nationals, particularly migrant workers in South Africa, could vote in national elections? How many consulates did Lesotho have in South Africa? What services did they provide to foreign nationals?

Replies by the Delegation


The mining industry had led to health challenges and diseases, which were still rampant in the country, the delegation said. Lesotho was still trying to push for compensation to be provided to affected former mine workers.

In 1991, there had been an incident of xenophobia against Chinese immigrants. There were no such cases anymore, and the Chinese population lived safely in the country.

With regards to work permits, between 300,000 and 500,000 people could benefit from an agreement between Lesotho and South Africa.

There were four consulate offices in South Africa, a delegate said. They provided services in rural areas as well.

The law on citizenship was indeed outdated, a delegate agreed. It needed to be reviewed in order to allow people to enjoy dual citizenship. There were thousands of children without papers, and Lesotho was in need of international assistance to address this issue.

Civil society organizations were consulted for the elaboration of the report.

Constitution amendments provided for the establishment of a National Human Rights Commission, which would hopefully be running before the end of the year, in compliance with the Paris Principles.

Questions by the Experts


An Expert raised some questions on the detention of irregular migrants under the same conditions as criminals under ordinary law. What provisions were available to ensure that migrants were helped in conditions that complied with the Convention? The expulsion of irregular migrants was decided by the Ministry of Interior and was not subject to an appeal mechanism, an Expert noted with concern.

Turning to labour, a Committee Member was concerned that some migrant workers could not receive financial remuneration, which exposed them to risks of exploitation. Could migrant workers receive employment benefits? What was being done to provide legal redress? Was free legal counsel provided to migrant workers? Was there a social security agreement with South Africa for Lesotho nationals working there?

JOSE BRILLANTES, Committee Member and Country Rapporteur for Lesotho, said that Lesotho should encourage South Africa to ratify the Convention. He then asked what measures had been taken to disseminate the Convention, and whether it had been translated in Sesotho. What measures had been taken to train law enforcement officers on issues relating to migration? The Expert regretted the lack of information on specific measures taken to implement the Convention and Lesotho’s national development policy. He was also concerned about the lack of information on measures to tackle exploitation linked to prostitution.

Chairperson Election


During the meeting, the Committee proceeded to the election of its Chairperson through secret ballot. With six votes in favour out of 11 votes, the Committee elected Committee Expert Jose Brillantes as its Chairperson. Committee Experts Pablo Ceriani Cernadas, Fatoumata Abdourhamane Dicko and Jasminka Dzumhur were nominated as Vice-Chairpersons, and Abdelhamid El Jamri was nominated as Committee Rapporteur.

Replies by the Delegation


Starting with the domestication of the Convention, the delegation recalled that Lesotho had a dualist system. Because the Convention was a cross-cutting instrument affecting many different areas, its domestication required the harmonization of different parts of the legislation. Lesotho had not yet signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention, but individual people and organizations had the possibility to file individual complaints. The Government was also looking into the possibility of acceding to the International Labour Organization’s Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, but already had laws covering this issue.

The Government had undertaken activities for the dissemination of the Convention through partnerships with workers themselves and awareness-raising campaigns.

Minimum wages were provided to all migrant workers, a delegate said.

Lesotho currently had no agreement on social security with South Africa.

Lesotho was committed to make efforts to comply with the Convention with regard to the detention of migrants.

The Labour Code imposed on recruitment agencies to inform migrant workers of their rights and to provide them with support in case of labour disputes.

A Children’s Court had been established, and a national plan had been established to improve the quality of children’s life. A law against child labour had been adopted, and the Government was working hand in hand with the United Nations Children’s Fund on this issue. There was a large number of orphans in the country, and the Government had been trying to provide them with protection. Measures had also sought to prevent unaccompanied children from crossing borders, by ensuring their registration and hence minimizing their risk of being subjected to trafficking.

The Anti-Trafficking Agency had conducted visits to places where workers had allegedly been abused.

The Government had encountered challenges with regards to family reunification. It was working with the Government of South Africa on this issue, and automatically allowed immediate family members to stay with their migrant relatives in Lesotho.

Consular services in South Africa offered support to migrant workers there.

Safety officers had been trained to monitor working conditions for migrant workers.

The Government was collecting disaggregated statistics on migrant workers.

Turning to gender balance, the delegation said that boys had traditionally not been encouraged to go to school but to work in the mining industry instead, leaving women with the opportunity to gain education and accede decision-making jobs.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons were considered as any other persons under the Constitution. There was no specific legislation protecting them because of the influence of the Church. These persons were however tolerated in the society, and organizations working on their behalf were allowed to operate and advocate freely.

Questions by the Experts


An Expert noted that, although the Convention concerned migrant workers, its dissemination should target the entire population. She asked whether measures had been taken to include the media in dissemination efforts.

An Expert asked whether unaccompanied or orphan children of migrant workers in Lesotho had the possibility to return to their home country, and whether their relatives would be informed.

JOSE BRILLANTES, Committee Member and Country Rapporteur for Lesotho, was concerned that the Office of the Ombudsman of Lesotho did not have any explicit human rights mandate.

Replies by the Delegation


The media had not really been directly involved in dissemination efforts, the delegation said. The media was involved in dissemination through its participation in non-governmental organization initiatives and activities called Media Houses.

The Government attached importance to the wellbeing of migrant children, and was working closely with South Africa on this issue.

The Ombudsman was in charge of human rights and corruption issues.

Concluding Remarks


JOSE BRILLANTES, Committee Member and Country Rapporteur for Lesotho, congratulated the delegation for making the dialogue as fruitful and constructive as possible. The Committee would now elaborate its recommendations, and Lesotho was encouraged to implement them.

LEKHETHO RAKUOANE, Minister of Home Affairs of Lesotho, in his concluding remarks, thanked the Committee Members for their welcoming reception. He assured the Committee that Lesotho would continue its efforts to better protect migrants’ rights and to address remaining challenges and gaps. The Government was also committed to fully cooperate with the international community and with human rights instruments. Many laws were in the pipeline, and Lesotho would continue its efforts to promote the ratification of the Convention by its partners. Recommendations by the Committee would be disseminated, and efforts would be made to strengthen efforts relating to registration and to combat statelessness.

__________
For use of the information media; not an official record
Follow UNIS Geneva on: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube |Flickr