Committee on UN treaty to protect migrant workers begins first meeting

1 March 2004

The United Nations-sponsored convention to protect the world’s migrant workers and their families will open its first committee meeting today in Geneva, beginning its work by electing members, setting up rules of procedure and developing an agenda for the years ahead.

The five-day meeting is also likely to discuss the ways in which the convention will cooperate with the UN, its various agencies and other international organizations as it tries to help the millions of migrant workers around the world.

The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families came into force on 1 July last year and has now been ratified by 25 countries. It aims to establish a set of binding standards for the treatment and human rights of migrant workers and work to end their exploitation.

The UN estimates that 150 million migrants – including migrant workers, refugees, asylum-seekers and permanent immigrants – live and work in a country other than that of their birth or citizenship.

The Convention’s Committee – which will today elect a chairperson, vice-chairperson and rapporteur – was set up to monitor States parties’ compliance with their obligations under the treaty.

The nations that have ratified or acceded to the treaty so far are: Azerbaijan, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Timor Leste, Uganda and Uruguay.


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