Human Rights Denied to International Migrants

  •  united nations
  • Inter Press Service

Only 43 countries have ratified the Convention since it entered into force in July 2003 . The primary objective of the Convention is to protect migrants and their families, a particularly vulnerable population, from exploitation and the violation of their human rights. Presenting her annual report to the General Assembly, the Rapporteur said: 'We are probably talking about 200 million international migrants not enjoying their right to adequate housing and suffering from discriminatory practices. This situation can be redressed only through the adoption of a truly human rights-based approach.' But governments look at migration essentially as a security issue to be handled by law enforcement forces and not through the implementation of human rights principles. With international human rights law protecting the rights of international migrants, States have no justification for discriminating migrants, she added.

At a press conference Friday, Abdelhamid El Jamri, Chairperson of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers said barriers imposed on migrants are increasing, but this does not reduce their number since it increases their vulnerability to discrimination and smuggling. There is a system of impoverishment of migrants who are kept poor by, for example, denying them access to public houses.

Rolnik, on the other hand, expressed special concern that migrants are victims of an 'eviction circle', especially in European countries. Migrants are denied access to public houses and are obliged to settle in precarious informal places from where they are then evicted with no proper resettlement arranged. Ethnic, religious and cultural differences can be transformed into a source of innovation and creativity instead of conflict and tension but States should develop special housing policies to address migrants' special housing challenges, Rolnik concluded.

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