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Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers Closes Thirty-Sixth Session after Adopting Concluding Observations on Reports of El Salvador, Morocco, Nigeria and the Philippines

10 April 2023

The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families this afternoon concluded its thirty-sixth session after adopting concluding observations on the reports of El Salvador, Morocco, Nigeria and the Philippines.

The concluding observations will be available on the webpage of the session in the coming days.

Edgar Corzo Sosa, Committee Chair, said some 281 million people currently lived and worked in countries that were not their own.  Migration was a symptom and effect of deep social, economic and environmental stresses and change.  Migrants, notably those in an irregular situation, were disproportionately vulnerable to human rights abuses and violations.  They frequently had no access to guarantees of due process or to remedies. 

As border controls had become stricter and regular pathways to entry and stay had narrowed, migrant journeys had become longer, more fragmented and more dangerous.  More than 40,000 women, men and children between 2014 and 2021 had been reported dead or missing en route, and countless other disappearances were never reported.  Yet the human rights dimensions of migration remained widely neglected.  Migration was usually discussed in terms of economic development or security and border control.  Inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric against migrants helped politicians win votes, and in times of crisis, the migrant made a convenient scapegoat to blame for social and economic difficulties.

The Committee, in its concluding observations, considered that regularisation was the most effective measure to address the situations of vulnerability faced by migrants in an irregular situation.  Regular migration remained a central mechanism for protecting the rights of migrants and their families, especially those in a particularly vulnerable situation, and as a factor that contributed to the fulfilment of the goals of numerous public policies in destination countries.  The Committee was appalled by the increased number of victims of enforced disappearances in the context of migration, as demonstrated by the numerous recommendations it had made concerning disappeared migrants.

During the session, in addition to reviewing the reports of El Salvador, Morocco, Nigeria and the Philippines, the Committee also adopted the list of issues prior to reporting for Seychelles and Niger in relation to their second periodic reports; assessed follow-up reports concerning Argentina, Colombia and Guatemala; and adopted the evaluation follow-up letters.

Mr. Corzo Sosa commended the Governments of El Salvador, Morocco, Nigeria and the Philippines for engaging with the Committee, a positive demonstration of the commitment of those States to their reporting obligations and engagement with the treaty body system.

Also during the session, the Chair said he presented a “zero” draft of the Committee’s general comment 6 on the Convergence of the Convention and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.  Committee Expert Pablo Ceriani also updated the Committee on the status of a joint general comment between the Committee and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on policies to address racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.  Finally, Committee Experts Myriam Poussi and Can Unver updated the Committee on the status of the Committee’s Roadmap on Working Methods and on the Ratification Campaign, respectively.

The Committee would soon hold discussions on its 2023-2024 bi-annual Work Plan, the intensification of its ratification campaign, the harmonisation of its working methods with other committees, its partnership with champion States of the Convention and the Global Compact on Migration as well as with civil society organizations and the African Network of National Human Rights Institutions.  The Committee had taken several important decisions to enhance its work and visibility.

The thirty-seventh session of the Committee is scheduled to be held from 27 November to 8 December 2023.