(Research papers and policy briefs below)
International Standards such as International Human Rights Conventions, International Labour Standards and other instruments provide the normative foundations for the rule of law and they offer specific standard text formulations for national laws. They constitute a fundamental pillar for the rights-based approach to migration.
International standards applying explicitly to international migration and migrants are found in five areas of international law:
- International Human Rights law, notably the nine fundamental Human Rights Conventions comprising the two Covenants respectively on Political and Civil Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, along with the International Conventions addressing specific groups and situations: victims of racial discrimination, victims of torture, women, children, migrant workers, and persons with disabilities.
- International Labour Standards, in effect all of them, except where - rarely - foreign workers are exempted.
- Refugee and asylum law, namely the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol on the Status of Refugees
- Consular Relations, namely the Vienna Convention on subject
- International Criminal Law, namely the Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and on smuggling of migrants of the International Convention on Transnational Organized Crime.
Regional standards, in some cases Conventions, address human rights, migration and refugees explicitly in Africa, the Americas, Asia, the CIS and Europe.
International Conventions on Human Rights and International Labour Standards lay out three basic principles of international law:
- Equality of treatment and non-discrimination between regular migrant/immigrant workers and nationals in the realm of employment and work.
- Universal human rights apply to all migrants, regardless of status.
- The broad array of International Labour Standards providing protection in treatment and conditions at work - safety, health, maximum hours, minimum remuneration, non-discrimination, freedom of association, maternity, etc. - apply to all workers.
Three complementary instruments comprise a comprehensive Charter on international migration: ILO Convention 97 on migration for employment of 1949, ILO Convention 143 on migrant workers of 1975, and the 1990 International Convention on rights of migrant workers. 86 countries have ratified at least one of these three instruments, two-thirds of the 130 or so countries for which migration is an important political-economic concern. Considering other countries that have Signed but not yet ratified the 1990 Convention shows a total of 97 States bound by international standards on migrants/migration.
GMPA Associates have been instrumental in obtaining ratifications of International Standards and practical measures ensuring protection of migrants as well as effective governance of migration in numerous countries. GMPA offers technical expertise and advisory support for implementation of international instruments, in cooperation with normative institutions such as OHCHR and ILO.
Focal Point Contacts
Abdelhamid El Jamri
Documents and Papers
- The Key Role of International Labour Standards in Defending Rights of Non-Nationals, TARAN 2011.
- EU Migration Policy, International Law and External Relations: Are Interests Defying Standards? TARAN, 2010.
- Globalization and Migration: The Imperative for a Rights Based Approach, TARAN, 2008.
- International Norms: The Essential Foundation for Effectively Regulating Migration, TARAN, 2008.
- International Legal Standards and Policy Frameworks: Essential Parameters for Regulating Migration in Central Asia, TARAN, 2006.
- International Conventions on Migration: Ensuring Regulation under the Rule of Law, TARAN, 2004.
- The Key Role of International Labour Standards in Defending Rights of Non-Nationals, TARAN, 2002.