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The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW) is the body of 14 independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families by its State parties. It held its first session in March 2004.

Its responsibilities include:

  • Examining reports from States parties, and making recommendations on the topic of migrant workers and members of their families in that State (articles 73 and 74 of the Convention);
  • Organizing days of general discussion;
  • Interpretations of the content of the substantive provisions in the Convention (general comments) and publishing statements and information or guidance notes on themes related to its mandate.

The Committee will also, under certain circumstances, be able to consider inter-State or individual complaints or communications from States parties or from individuals who claim that their rights under the Convention have been violated, once 10 States parties have accepted these procedures in accordance with articles 76 and 77 of the Convention.

The Committee meets in Geneva and normally holds two sessions per year.

The work of the Committee

More than 280 million people, including migrant workers, refugees, asylum-seekers, permanent immigrants and others, live or work in a country other than that of their birth or citizenship. Many of them are migrant workers. The term "migrant worker" is defined by the Convention on Migrant Workers in article 2, paragraph 1, as: "a person who is to be engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national".

The Convention breaks new ground in defining those rights which apply to certain categories of migrant workers and their families, including frontier workers; seasonal workers; seafarers; workers on offshore installations; itinerant workers; project-tied workers; specified-employment workers; and self-employed workers.

While the Convention recognizes the rights of migrant workers in an irregular situation and members of their families, who are frequently exploited and face serious human rights violations, the Committee is mandated to monitor how States protect and implement these rights. Through its work, it aims to improve the lives of migrant workers and their families.

For more information about the work of the Committee on Migrant Workers, read the CMW Fact sheet.