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Committee on Rights of Migrant Workers holds twenty-third session in Geneva from 31 August until 9 September 2015

Committee on Rights of Migrant Workers
BACKGROUND RELEASE

27 August 2015

Committee to Review Reports of Cabo Verde, Guinea, Seychelles and Timor-Leste

The twenty-third session of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families will take place at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 31 August to 9 September 2015.   The Committee will review the implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families by Cabo Verde, Guinea, Seychelles and Timor-Leste, and make recommendations to those countries.

The session will open at 10 a.m. on Monday, 31 August when the Committee will hear a statement by a representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, adopt its agenda and programme of work, and discuss activities undertaken to promote the Convention. The Committee will also hold meetings with non-governmental organizations and human rights institutions, as well as with the United Nations bodies and specialized agencies.

In the afternoon on Monday, 31 August, the Committee will start its consideration of the initial report of Cabo Verde, which will continue on Tuesday, 1 September in the morning.  The Committee will then take up the initial report of Guinea on Tuesday afternoon and conclude its review on Wednesday, 2 September in the morning.  The examination of the report of the Seychelles will start on Wednesday afternoon and conclude on Thursday, 3 September in the morning.  Consideration of the initial report of Timor-Leste will start in the afternoon on Thursday and conclude in the morning on Friday, 4 September.  

On Tuesday, 8 September 2015, the Committee will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention by holding a panel discussion focusing on the current trends in violations of human rights of migrant workers and members of their families, challenges for States and promising developments on how to best address these trends in the context of irregular flows in the Mediterranean, migrant workers in the Gulf and undocumented children in the Americas.   Speakers include the High Commissioner for Human Rights, representatives from the ILO, the Permanent Missions of the Holy See, Philippines, Mexico, European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as Amnesty International, Migrant Forum in Asia, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) and Centro de Derochos Humanos Fray Matias de Cordova (Mexico).  The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Palais des Nations, conference room XI. 

Following the consideration of the country reports of  Cabo Verde, Guinea, Seychelles and Timor-Leste, the Committee will adopt concluding observations and recommendations with regard to their implementation of the Convention, which will be published at the end of the session. 

Copies of the States parties’ reports, all related documentation and information are available on the Committee’s webpage for the session.

Background


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.  Thus far, 48 States have ratified the Convention.

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.   

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 48 States: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, 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, 31 August


10 a.m.         Opening of the session (public) Adoption of the agenda and consideration of the programme of work (public)
Activities to promote the Convention (public)

11 a.m. Informal meeting with non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions (public)

12 p.m.  Informal meeting with the United Nations bodies and specialized agencies (closed)

 3  p.m. Consideration of the initial report of Cabo Verde (CMW/C/CPV/1) (public)


Tuesday, 1 September

10 a.m.         Consideration of the initial report of Cabo Verde (public)

3 p.m.          Consideration of the initial report of Guinea (CMW/C/GIN/1) (public)


Wednesday, 2 September

10 a.m.         Consideration of the initial report of Guinea (public)

3 p.m.           Consideration of the initial report of the Seychelles (CMW/C/SYC/1) (public)


Thursday, 3 September
 
10 a.m.         Consideration of the initial report of the Seychelles (public)

3 p.m.           Consideration of the initial report of Timor-Leste (CMW/C/TLS/1) (public)


Friday, 4 September

10 a.m.         Consideration of the initial report of Timor-Leste (public)

3 p.m.           Working Group of the Whole (closed)


Monday, 7 September

10 a.m.         Working Group of the Whole (closed)

3 p.m.           Working Group of the Whole (closed)


Tuesday, 8 September

10 a.m.         Working Group of the Whole (closed)

3 p.m.           Panel marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention (public)


Wednesday, 9 September

10 a.m.         Working Group of the Whole (closed)

3 p.m.           Working Group of the Whole (closed)
                    Closing of the session (public)

For more information and media requests, please contact Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org)

For more information about the Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CMW/Pages/CMWIndex.aspx

Protecting your rights – pdf guide to the UN human rights committees http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/TB/TB_booklet_en.pdf

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