Press Releases

     

    SG/SM/8768
    L/T/4372
    1 July 2003

    ENTRY INTO FORCE OF CONVENTION ON MIGRANT WORKERS
    LANDMARK IN STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION,
    SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS

    NEW YORK, 30 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the statement of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the entry into force on 1 July of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families:

    The entry into force of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families is not only a milestone in international cooperation on migration.  It is also a landmark in the broader struggle for the international protection of human rights.

    Migrant workers are not merely units of labour.  They are human beings entitled to respect for their human rights -- and this understanding is the cornerstone of the Convention.  The Convention is the bill of rights for migrant workers and their families, and establishes for its ratifying countries the obligation to respect the core human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrant workers in their state of immigration.  Its entry into force follows many years of tireless campaigning, in which United Nations agencies have joined hands with other international organizations, non-governmental organizations and trade unions to encourage States to ratify the Convention.

    Yet only a small number of migrant workers are protected by the Convention, since only 22 countries have ratified it so far.  Ten other countries have signed it, and I encourage them to ratify it as soon as possible.  I also wish to encourage other countries to become parties to this important instrument.  Only when it is ratified by a large number of countries, including those receiving significant numbers of immigrants, will we be able to say that the promise of the Convention is being translated into reality.

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