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Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families Concludes Thirty-Eighth Session after Adopting Findings on Türkiye, Senegal and Congo

Meeting Summaries

The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families this afternoon concluded its thirty-eighth session after adopting concluding observations on the reports of Türkiye, Senegal and Congo.

The concluding observations will be available on the webpage of the session in the coming days.

Fatimata Diallo, Committee Chair, said that on 10 December 2023, the world celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which States recognised the inherent dignity of all human beings and their equal and inalienable rights.  Nevertheless, the living conditions of migrants in many parts of the world were far from these objectives.  Too many people – more than 40,000 women, men and children between 2014 and 2021 – had been reported dead or missing en route, and countless other disappearances had never been reported.

The issue of migration was usually approached from the perspective of economic development or border security and control, Ms. Diallo observed.  Inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric against migrants helped politicians win votes, and in times of crisis, the migrant was a convenient scapegoat to blame for social and economic hardship, she said.  Xenophobia had also increased in many societies, negatively impacting the lives of migrants, their families and communities.

Ms. Diallo said many people on the move were outside the limits of legal protection and therefore needed specific support to promote and protect their fundamental rights.  Currently, some 281 million people lived and worked in countries that were not their own.  Migrants, especially those in an irregular situation, were disproportionately exposed to abuses and human rights violations, including discrimination, marginalisation, exploitation, violence and xenophobia.  They often did not have access to due process or remedies.  As border controls became stricter and regular pathways of entry and stay narrowed, migrants' journeys became longer, more fragmented and more dangerous.

The Committee was deeply concerned by the increasing number of enforced disappearances in the context of international migration, Ms. Diallo said.  More and more families were grieving from the disappearance of loved ones on their way to their destination countries or after their arrival.  Triggered by mass migration movements, enforced disappearances had become increasingly worrying human rights violations that occurred along various migration routes around the world.  The Committee called on States and other stakeholders to cooperate more closely to address the critical issue of enforced disappearances in the context of international migration, in accordance with goal eight of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, namely "save lives and develop international action to find missing migrants".

Ms. Diallo also encouraged all States that had not yet ratified the Convention to do so, since this instrument, with a few exceptions, did not create new rights but took on the fundamental rights of humans as set out in the main international human rights instruments, applying them to a wide and specific category of the world's population: migrants and members of their families.

During the session, Ms. Diallo said, the Committee elected by consensus a new Bureau, with a female Chairperson for the first time, three Vice-Chairpersons and a Rapporteur.  Ms. Diallo thanked the Committee for supporting her, and said that she and the Bureau would do their upmost to fulfil their mandate and explore new avenues of activity for the Committee.

In addition to reviewing the reports of Türkiye, Senegal and Congo, Ms. Diallo reported, the Committee also adopted a list of issues prior to reporting for Ghana, as well as lists of issues for Egypt and Honduras during the session.

During the session, Committee Expert Pablo Ceriani Cernadas presented to the Committee a preliminary draft of the joint general comment that the Committee was preparing jointly with the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the public policy obligations of States parties to address and eradicate xenophobia and its impact on the rights of migrants, their families and other non-citizens affected by racial discrimination.  Consultations would continue in the intersessional period and the Committee had agreed on a work plan to finalise and launch the general comment during the thirty-ninth session.

Ms. Diallo extended thanks to members of the Secretariat and other persons who worked hard to make the busy thirty-eighth session successful.

The thirty-ninth session of the Committee is scheduled to be held from 2 to 13 December 2024 in Geneva.




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