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UN Committee on Migrant Workers publishes findings on Kyrgyzstan, Sao Tome and Principe, and Uruguay

12 December 2023

GENEVA (12 December 2023) - The UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW) today issued its findings on Kyrgyzstan, Sao Tome and Principe, and Uruguay.

The findings contain the Committee’s main concerns and recommendations on the implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as well as positive aspects. Key highlights include:

The Committee welcomed the adoption of the National Action Plan on gender equality but remained concerned about alleged discrimination faced by migrant workers, particularly those undocumented and irregular migrant workers, as well as their families in the areas of employment, education and health. The Committee also raised concerns about the discrimination against workers with HIV/AIDS due to the mandatory testing they are subjected to obtain a work permit. It recommended that Kyrgyzstan adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation and sensitise law enforcement officials, politicians, journalists and the general public on discrimination against migrant workers and their families. It also asked the State party to amend its legislation to ensure that all migrant workers, including those living with HIV/AIDS, can obtain a work permit, without any discrimination and in line with the Convention.

The Committee noted Kyrgyzstan’s measures to gather data on migrant workers’ children without parental care. However, it remained concerned about the high number of migrant workers’ children without formalised kinship or guardianship who suffer from violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It recommended that the State party conduct a nationwide study on migrant children, including both migrant workers’ children in Kyrgyzstan and children left behind by Kyrgyz migrant workers abroad, with a view to effective policy and programme development.

Sao Tome and Principe
The Committee expressed concern about the lack of detailed information and statistics on many migration-related issues, including the number and situation of foreign migrant workers in the State party, as well as the number and employment conditions of the State party’s nationals working overseas. It called on the State party to establish a system to collect data about migrant workers employed in the country, particularly those in irregular situations, and nationals working abroad and their employment conditions, to effectively promote human rights-based migration policies.

While noting that the country has not registered any exploitation cases of migrant workers, the Committee remained concerned about the extent of child labour in the informal sector, particularly in agriculture and fishing industries, and at the fact that children often work in dangerous and vulnerable conditions. It recommended that Sao Tome and Principe increase unannounced and spontaneous labour inspections in the informal sector and prosecute and punish those exploiting migrant workers, especially children.

The Committee welcomed the launch of the National Plan for the Integration of Migrants, Asylum-seekers and Refugees in 2022. It was, however, concerned that the Plan is still pending formal adoption and that institutions involved in its implementation have not been allocated all the necessary resources. The Committee asked Uruguay to immediately adopt the National Plan and allocate all the essential human, technical and financial resources for this purpose.

The Committee noted the creation of the Migration Unit within the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in 2017. It, however, remained concerned about the persistent discrimination faced by migrant workers, particularly in access to jobs, pay, and working conditions, as well as the challenges in protecting women migrant domestic workers, particularly those in an irregular situation. The Committee recommended that Uruguay step up its efforts to ensure that migrant workers, particularly women migrant domestic workers, enjoy the same working conditions as nationals. It also asked the State party to implement regular labour inspections in informal sectors of the economy.

The above findings, officially known as Concluding Observations, are now available on the session webpage.

For more information and media enquiry, please contact:
Vivian Kwok at [email protected] or
UN Human Rights Office Media Section at [email protected]

The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families monitors States parties' adherence to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which to date has 59 States parties. The Committee is made up of 14 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.

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