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20 Years of Migrant Workers’ Rights         

Twenty years ago, on 18/12/1990, the General Assembly of the UN adopted the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. Ten years later, in 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 18/12 each year as the International Day for Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

In the current year, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary, the convention on the rights of migrant workers still remains as one of the basic human rights conventions which has not received appropriate support since it has been ratified by only 44 states including six Arab states only which are: Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, and Syria.

In this occasion, GIHR joins the UN in calling upon all member states to ratify the International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, which represent the first comprehensive convention focusing on the protection of the rights of migrant workers, linking migration to human rights, and provides useful guidelines for countries on how to ensure that all stages of migration take place in human and fair conditions which provide for human rights principles for migrant workers and members of their families.

Migrants, of whom there are over 200 millions, face – especially those of illegal status - racism, xenophobia, and all other forms of discrimination, in both developed and developing countries. They are sometimes victims of extreme violence and easy prey to drug smugglers. The unofficial status of some of them renders these migrant men, women, and children scared and incapable to seek protection and relief from concerned authorities.

Research and statistics assert that if migration continues at the same pace of the last twenty years, there will be some 405 million migrants all over the world by 2050.

These figures point out the danger of the continuation of the current state on the world scale, especially since the leading recipient countries in the west, including USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, keep on eluding to ratify the convention.

GIHR hopes that next year, 2011, will witness a serious move on the part of UN member states towards improving and activating protection mechanisms of migrants’ rights, where the first step will be the ratification by the rest of world countries of the “International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families”.

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