The independent panel monitoring compliance with the United Nations-sponsored convention on the rights of migrant workers and their families has wrapped up its first meeting today by urging more countries to ratify the treaty.
After a five-day meeting in Geneva, the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families noted that only 25 countries have ratified the treaty - leaving many of the estimated 120 million migrant workers around the world without protection.
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. It aims to establish a set of binding standards for the treatment and human rights of migrant workers, work towards ending their exploitation and eliminate illegal recruitment and trafficking in migrant workers.
States parties to the Convention must regularly report to the Committee on what measures they have adopted to implement the pact's provisions.
Prasad Kariyawasam of Sri Lanka, elected Committee Chairman this week, called the plight of migrant workers a silent human rights crisis.
"It is of supreme importance that more States ratify the Convention," he said, adding that the Committee's first meeting had been successful and productive. Its next session is scheduled for July 2005.
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.