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UN Committee on Rights of Migrant Workers publishes findings

GENEVA (13 September 2019) – The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has published its findings on the countries it examined during its latest session from 2 to 11 September 2019: Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Colombia.

They are among the 55 States parties to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. As such, they are required to submit regular reports to the Committee, which is composed of 14 international independent human rights experts.

The findings, officially termed concluding observations, contain positive aspects of how the respective State is doing with regard to implementation of the Convention and also main matters of concern and recommendations.

The concluding observations are now available online on the session Web page. Some of the key findings are:

Argentina: The Committee notes the progress made by the State party in the implementation of the Convention on Migrants Workers and welcomes the efforts undertaken to facilitate the reception of Venezuelans to Argentina. It further welcomes the decision of the State party to lift the re-entry ban for Peruvian migrant worker Ms. Vanessa Gomez Cueva and to allow her to reunite with her Argentinian children. The Committee is concerned that xenophobic and discriminatory statements made by authorities, leaders and the media violate the Convention and called on the State party to end such practices. The Committee also raised concern about Decree No. 70/2017 which contravenes the principles of the Convention and therefore requests its urgent derogation. At the same time, the Committee urged the State party to review and prevent situations that affect the rights to family unity and due process in cases of expulsion of migrant workers and their families, in particular where children are affected and to treat them on an equal basis as Argentinian citizens. In addition, the Committee requested the State party to facilitate regularization procedures, to resolve the irregular immigration situation of inter alia Haitian and Senegalese migrant workers and members of their families and to take measures towards their full social inclusion, particularly for those that are self-employment migrants.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: While welcoming Bosnia and Herzegovina’s efforts to promote and protect the rights of Bosnian migrant workers abroad and in the State party, in particular with respect to the right to vote and reintegration support, the Committee recommends that Bosnia and Herzegovina ensure that the rights enshrined in the Convention are guaranteed in all parts of the federal State and within its jurisdiction, without any limitation or exception. Full implementation of the Convention at the legislative, administrative and practical levels was still hindered due to the complexity of the State party’s constitutional structure and the difficulties of the federal Government to carry out legal reforms in some parts of the State party. Raising concerns about the State party’s insufficient border management capacities, including the lack of infrastructure at border-crossing points, as well as the living conditions at the informal Vucjak camp near Bihać, the Committee also recommends that Bosnia and Herzegovina increase its capacity in this regard to ensure respect for the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their status.

Colombia: The Committee appreciates the effort made by Colombia to advance the implementation of the Convention on Migrant Workers and recognized the development of new legal, regulatory and political instruments. It also acknowledges Colombia’s commitment in the face of a massive migration influx of Venezuelan citizens to provide them with protection and facilitate their international mobility, applying a human rights based approach. The Committee considers that the State party should, in order to meet these challenges, provide a long-term regularization solution for migrants who wish to remain in their territory and link them to employment policies that promote entrepreneurship and decent work. The Committee considers due process for the treatment of all cases, the strengthening of its capacities to serve groups in a vulnerable situation, such as children, women and indigenous peoples affected by migration, as essential. The Committee also calls for international cooperation to finance the State party’s needs in solidarity and co-responsibility.

The Committee will next meet from 30 March to 9 April 2020 to review Cabo Verde, Chile, Paraguay and Rwanda. More details.

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