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Inter-American Program for the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Migrants, Including Migrant Workers and their Families.

Program Objectives: The primary objectives of the Inter-American Program developed during this process are the promotion and the protection of the human rights of migrants through the development of cooperative actions and best practices, through the integration of concrete actions in the work of organs, organisms, and organizations of the OAS, and by the joining together of these activities with the advances of the member states, multilateral organizations, and civil society.

The Program also establishes a series of specific objectives for the protection of the human rights of migrants. These objectives span from the exchange of best practices and cooperation between countries of origin, transit, and destination, to attention to the special needs of vulnerable groups of migrants (such as children, women, and indigenous, etc.).

Program Activities: In its text, the Program delegates 33 specific activities intended for the protection of the human rights of migrants in different areas of the General Secretariat of the OAS. Among others, these activities include the study and the dissemination of national migratory legislation, the exchange of information and technical assistance in the area of human rights with state governments and government officials, the development of programs for the protection of migrant women and children, research into the political participation of migrants, and the exchange of best practices between the different actors of this Program.

Additionally, the Program delegates almost 70 activities to the member states and other actors of the Program. These activities include to sign, to ratify, or to adhere to international and Inter-American instruments of human rights and the rights of migrants, to review their legislation to ensure that it is compatible with their obligation to respect the human rights of migrants, to train their government officials to perform functions related to migration within the migratory legal framework and the protection of human rights of migrants, etc.

Program Background: The Program was drafted by the Working Group of the Permanent Council’s Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs in response to General Assembly resolutions [AG/RES. 1404 XVI-O/96] and [AG/RES. 1480 XXVII-O/97]. In this regard, the Working Group approved the program at its meeting held on May, 18, 2005, later approved in final form by General Assembly resolution [AG/RES. 2141 (XXXV-O/05)].

The Working Group met for a period of 18 months in Washington, D.C. with broad participation of government experts and representatives of the OAS and its organs as well as multilateral, intergovernmental and civil society organizations. The Permanent Council also convened a Special Session in order to proceed to an exchange of best practices, information and new propositions that could potentially be incorporated in the Program.

In accordance with the resolution [AG/RES. 2248 (XXXVI-O/06)] of the General Assembly, the Permanent Council is requested to: “hold a Special Session in the second half of 2006 to consider, analyze, and discuss human migration flows, their impact on the member states, and their relation to the human rights of migrant workers and their families, with the participation of all stakeholders, including the Special Rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)”.

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