Migrants in irregular situations, internally displaced persons, stateless individuals who lack a nationality – can all be disproportionately vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. They often live and work in the shadows, afraid to complain, and are denied their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Violations of civil and political rights against migrants include arbitrary detention, torture, or a lack of due process. Violations of economic, social and cultural rights impact the rights to health, housing and education. The denial of migrants’ rights is often closely linked to discriminatory laws and deep-seated attitudes of prejudice or xenophobia.
UN Human Rights works to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of all migrants, with a particular focus on those in vulnerable situations. We promote a human rights-based approach that places the migrant at the centre of migration policies and governance, and seeks to ensure that they are included in all relevant national action plans and strategies.
We also provide technical advice on nationality laws, policies and practices so they are aligned with international human rights standards. In particular, we advocate for reform of nationality laws that discriminate against women and impact the rights of their children and spouses.
UN Human Rights also works closely with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (OIM) on this issue.
UN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE
Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM)
The GCM is the first intergovernmental agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. It reaffirms States’ commitment to respecting, protecting, and fulfilling all human rights for all migrants.
UN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE
When migrants are portrayed in a negative light, their human rights are heavily impacted. They are discriminated, excluded and dehumanised. Communities also become divided. UN Human Rights works through its offices globally to promote narratives that are inclusive as opposed to xenophobic and racist. Join us to tell a new story about migration, one of hope and shared values.
Who else is involved
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants
The mandate was created in 1999 by the Commission on Human Rights to examine ways and means to overcome the obstacles existing to the full and effective protection of the human rights of all migrants at all stages of migration. The Special Rapporteur also makes recommendations on strengthening the promotion, protection and implementation of the human rights of all migrants.
The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW)
The CMW is a body of independent experts that monitors States’ implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. It held its first session in March 2004.
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons
The first Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons was appointed in 2010 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The mandate works to address internal displacement, strengthen the international response to the problem, and engage in coordinated international advocacy and action.
News and statements
05 Sep 2023
Press briefing notes
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Darien Gap migrants
04 Sep 2023
Libya: UN experts urge Libyan National Army to halt forced evictions and demolitions in Benghazi
04 Sep 2023
India: UN experts alarmed by continuing abuses in Manipur
Behind Closed Doors: Protecting and Promoting the Human Rights of Migrant Domestic Workers in an Irregular Situation
Guidelines on CEDAW General Recommendation No. 38 on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration
27 July 2023
A/78/245: Thematic priorities of the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Paula Gaviria Betancur
14 July 2023
A/78/180: Protection of the labour and human rights of migrant workers - Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales
27 June 2023
A/HRC/53/35/Add.2: Visit to Mexico- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons
24 May 2023