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Migration has become one of the most important social, political and economic issue facing countries in the Western Hemisphere today. In the last decade, most OAS member states have become countries of origin, transit and destination for migrants from throughout the region and the globe.

These modern migration patterns transcend the capacity of State specific regulation. As a result, the promotion and the protection of the human rights of migrants, including migrant workers and their families, has not only become an inescapable political and legal issue on the agenda of individual state governments, but has also put the OAS at the forefront of hemispheric efforts to ensure the protection of the human rights of migrants.

In this capacity, the Department of International Law has provided support to OAS political bodies and member states in the drafting of the Inter-American Program for the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants including Migrant Workers and Their Families. The Inter-American Program, adopted by the General Assembly in 2005 as the cornerstone in OAS efforts in this area, was completed by a Working Group of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the Permanent Council and was approved by General Assembly Resolution [AG/RES. 2141 (XXXV-O/05)] in June 2005.

The Program is designed around a set of activities, guidelines and best practices for OAS, member states, international organizations and civil society to follow. The basic purpose is to promote the exchange of best practices and cooperation among sending, transit, and receiving countries in order to fully respect and protect the human rights of all migrants and promote more effective exchange of information on legislation and migration policies.

The protection of the human rights of migrants is fundamental to the hemisphere and the Inter-American program represents an essential mechanisms in that effort.

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