AG/RES. 1898 (XXXII-O/02)
THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL MIGRANT WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session held on June 4, 2002)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
The report by the Chair of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs on the human rights of all migrant workers and their families (CP/CAJP/SA.369/02 and CP/CAJP/SA.375/02); and
The Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to the General Assembly, especially the chapter on the situation of migrant workers and their families in the Hemisphere (CP/doc.3579/02);
That the Heads of State and Government, gathered at the Third Summit of the Americas, in Quebec City, Canada, recognized the cultural and economic contributions made by migrants to receiving societies as well as to their communities of origin and pledged to ensure dignified, humane treatment with appropriate legal protections and to strengthen mechanisms for hemispheric cooperation to address the legitimate needs of migrants;
The positive contributions often made by migrants, both to their countries of origin and to the receiving countries, including their gradual incorporation into the receiving societies, and the efforts made by some receiving countries to integrate migrants;
That the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man proclaims that all persons are equal before the law and have the rights and duties enshrined in that declaration, without distinction as to race, sex, language, creed, or any other factor;
That the American Convention on Human Rights recognizes that essential human rights are not derived from one’s being a national of a particular state but are based upon attributes of the human person, and therefore justify international protection;
That the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families establishes the duty of states to ensure to all migrant workers and members of their families within their territory, or subject to their jurisdiction, the rights provided for in the Convention, without distinction as to sex, race, color, language, religion or belief; political opinion; national, ethnic, or social origin; nationality; age; economic position; property; marital status; birth; or other status; and
Advisory Opinion OC-16, issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, on the Right to Information on Consular Assistance within the Framework of the Guarantees of Due Process of Law, in cases of foreign nationals detained by authorities of a receiving state;
BEARING IN MIND FURTHER:
The exchange of views conducted, within the framework of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, with representatives of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Director General of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD), in which, given the multidimensional aspects of the issues regarding migrant workers and their families and of the activities carried out by each of the aforementioned bodies, participants concluded that an interagency approach was needed and that it would be advisable to undertake joint programs of cooperation in this field;
That in the Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development 2002-2005, support for vulnerable groups such as migrant workers was identified as a priority in the implementation of policies and programs to facilitate access to the labor market and to improve working conditions;
That the Plan of Action of the Third Summit of the Americas provided for the establishment of an inter-American program within the OAS for the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants, including migrant workers and their families, taking into account the activities of the IACHR and supporting the work of the IACHR Special Rapporteur for Migrant Workers and Their Families; and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights; and
That many migrant workers and their families find themselves compelled to leave their places of origin in search of better opportunities; and
Over the vulnerable situation in which many migrant workers and their families find themselves because, inter alia, they move between countries; they do not live in their states of origin; they face difficulties as a result of cultural differences, especially with respect to language and customs; and their circumstances often lead to the breakdown of the family; and
Over the persistent obstacles that prevent many migrants and their families from fully exercising their human rights; and bearing in mind that migrants are often victims of mistreatment, discrimination, racism, and xenophobia,
1. To reaffirm that the principles and standards set forth in the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and in the American Convention on Human Rights take on special importance with respect to protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families.
2. To reaffirm the duty of States Parties to the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to comply with that Convention, including the right to communication between consular officers and their nationals, regardless of immigration status, in case of detention and the obligation of the states parties in whose territory the detention occurs to inform the foreign national of that right; and, in that connection, to call the attention of states to Advisory Opinion OC-16 of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on this topic.
3. To urge member states to:
a. Consider, as soon as possible and as appropriate, signing and ratifying, ratifying, or acceding to all inter-American human rights instruments, and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; and
b. Take the necessary measures to guarantee the human rights of all migrants, including migrant workers and their families.
4. To instruct the Permanent Council to:
a. Continue supporting the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in this area and to take into account the efforts of other international organizations on behalf of migrant workers and their families, with a view to helping to improve their situation in the Hemisphere and, in particular and where applicable, the efforts of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and those of the International Organization for Migration (IOM);
b. Continue studying the adoption of measures to strengthen cooperation among states to address, with a comprehensive, objective, and long-term approach, the manifestations, origins, and effects of migration in the region; as well as measures to promote close cooperation among countries of origin, transit, and destination in order to ensure protection of the human rights of migrants; and
c. Continue to prepare the Inter-American Program for the Promotion of the Human Rights of Migrants, with the assistance of the IACHR and the IOM.
5. To recommend to the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) that it:
a. Support the projects and activities presented by member states on behalf of all migrant workers and their families in the framework of the Strategic Plan for Partnership for Development 2002-2005;
b. Request the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD) to identify new resources to support the efforts by member states to formulate cooperation projects to study, examine, and address the situation of migrant workers and their families in the Hemisphere; and
c. To request the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD) to collaborate and coordinate, where necessary, on the projects and activities in this area with the IACHR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM); the International Labour Organization (ILO), and other organs, agencies, and entities.6. To recommend to the IACHR that it:
a. Consider the advisability of adopting joint cooperation programs with the IACD in this area;
b. Provide the Special Rapporteur for Migrant Workers and Their Families with the necessary and appropriate means to perform his or her duties in keeping with resources allocated in the program-budget and other resources; and
c. Present the report on the status of the rights of all migrant workers and their families prior to the thirty-third regular session of the General Assembly.
7. To invite the member states, permanent observers, organs, agencies, and entities of the inter-American system, and other sources to contribute to the Voluntary Fund of the Office of the Special Rapporteur for issues involving the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families.
8. To request the Councils of the Organization to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-third regular session on the implementation of this resolution in their respective spheres.