MIGRANT.NEWS, Issue 76, 1 December 2003



Migrant Workers’ Convention: Creation of the Committee of Experts


On July 3, 2003, 22 States Parties were invited by the Office of the UNHCHR to submit the name of their national candidate for the Committee of Experts. Only 10 countries presented a candidate. The final election is scheduled for 11 December 2003 in New York. On the same occasion, the Chairman of the meeting will choose by lot the names of the five members whose term will expire at the end of two years. The remaining five will serve for a term of four years. Once the Committee is set up, elections are held every second year.


List of candidates nominated by States Parties. Their CVs are available on the following site:





Mr. Francisco ALBA                                                               Mexico

Mr. Jose Serrano BRILLANTES                                             Philippines

Mr Francisco CARRIÓN-MENA                                               Ecuador

Ms. Ana Elizabeth CUBIAS MEDINA                                      El Salvador

Ms. Anamaría DIEGUEZ                                                        Guatemala

Mr. Ahmed Hassan EL-BORAI                                               Egypt

Mr. Abdelhamid EL JAMRI                                                     Morocco

Mr. Arthur Shatto GAKWANDI                                                Uganda

Mr. Prasad KARIYAWASAM                                                   Sri Lanka

Mr. Azad TAGHIZADE                                                            Azerbaijan


Status of  the Convention: 23 ratifications.




Migrant Workers’ Convention: Studies


The IMD Platform Flanders commissioned a comparative study between the MW Convention and the Belgian legislation. The study was made by Prof. Foblets (K.U. Leuven), Prof. Vanheule (U. Antwerpen) and Sander Loones and is since November 10 available in Dutch on the following page: http://www.december18.net/d-frontpage.htm

A French translation is expected by mid December.



UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants


The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Ms. Gabriela Rodriguez, will visit the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1 to 10 February 2004. As usual, she will be meeting with officials and civil society. Relevant information and materials on the situation of migrants and future migrants and relevant contacts in the country can be forwarded to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva 10 or emailed to webinfo@ohchr.org (please put in the subject: Attn. SR on the human rights of migrants/IRAN).



Global Commission on migration

The Global Commission on Migration, an independent, non-UN body is to be launched next month in Geneva. It will be co-chaired by Jan Karlsson of Sweden, a former Migration Minister from that country, and Mamphela Ramphele of South Africa, a managing director of the World Bank.

According to a senior UN official, the idea for the Commission came from a core of 11 countries from the North and South, led by Sweden and Switzerland. The panel is expected to begin working in January and complete its final report by the middle of 2005.

The Commission will have a three-part mandate: to bring the issues surrounding international migration to the top of the global agenda, to analyse shortcomings and gaps in approaches by governments or other bodies to migration, and to give practical recommendations on how to manage migration better.

For more information (only in English): see





Campaign by the European Coordination for Foreigners’ Right to Family Life



A directive concerning foreigners' family reunification has just been adopted by the European Union. While the measures of this "European law" are to be incorporated into the national law of all member states, the principle of the right for non-EU foreigners residing in Europe to live with their families, included in the first version that was proposed by the European Commission in 1999, has completely disappeared. Instead, the directive grants states the right to subject family members seeking reunification to conditions that may be insurmountable.


The Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee of the European Parliament will begin deliberations in the first week of December (originally scheduled for November 26) on the possibility of requesting the Court of Justice of the European Communities to annul the Directive on Family Reunification of Third-Country Nationals residing in a State of the Union.

On this occasion, the European Coordination for Foreigner's Right to Family Life is releasing the following communiqué:


In English



In Spanish



In French



Complete file on this EU directive in French



To receive it in other EU languages and for information, please contact:



Visit also the new web site of the European Coordination:





International Migrant’s Day 2003


Since 1999, December 18 encourages non-governmental organizations to join the global solidarity movement for the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants and to use the International Migrant's Day to highlight publicly not only the lack of protection but also  the contributions made by migrants. Many organizations also use the IMD to remind politicians and civil society of the importance of international human rights instruments, in particular the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.


NGOs and migrant organizations are starting to get ready for the celebration of the 4th official International Migrant’s Day.


If you plan to organise an action or an event, please let us know at info@december18.net.

You are also welcome to use the IMD logo that will upon request be adapted to your needs.

For details, see:


In English



In Spanish



In French



In Italian



In Dutch






ILO International Labour Conference, Geneva, 1 to 11 June 2004


Among the highlights on the agenda: migrant workers

About accreditation of NGOs: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/relm/ilc/pdf/note.pdf





Movies about migrants and migration


Ontario, Canada

J4MW informed us that the Canadian National Film Board last month released a new film about the situation of migrant workers in Ontario. It is called EL CONTRATO. More details, including how you can order it, can be found on the following site: http://www.nfb.ca/elcontrato/  (English)




LA BODA (The Wedding) is a first documentary by Hannah Weyer to chronicle the Luis family and their struggles as a migrant farm workers. Profiling the 22-year old Elizabeth Luis (Liliana’s sister) during the weeks leading up to her wedding, "La Boda" unfolds the challenges and sacrifices faced by Mexican-American girls who labour as seasonal agricultural workers. (Spanish subtitled in English)




There are over 800,000 students enrolled in migrant education programs in the United States and, of those, only 45-50% ever finish high school. ESCUELA, the sequel to Hannah Weyer’s critically acclaimed documentary "La Boda", personalizes these glaring statistics through the honest portrait of a teenage Mexican-American farm worker, Liliana Luis.



Mexico-Central America-US

TROUBLED HARVEST is an award-winning documentary that examines the lives of women migrant workers from Mexico and Central America as they work in grape, strawberry and cherry harvests in California and the Pacific Northwest. Interviews with women farm workers reveal the dangerous health effects of pesticides on themselves and their children, the problems they encounter as working mothers of young children, and the destructive consequences of U.S. immigration policies on the unity of their families. Featuring an interview with Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union.



If you know of movies and documentaries about the situations of migrants, please share the details with us at info@december18.net. The complete list will made available on http://www.december18.net





International Calendar on migration and human rights




Latest articles, press releases, newsletters by NGOs and others







Join the December 18 team


You stand up for equal rights, have spare time and an easy access to the Internet? Join the December 18 team. We are a group of 20 volunteers from different backgrounds and origins, living in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, Panama, Spain, Sweden and the UK. We need more bright minds and fast hands to work on the update our new database-driven site. We are in particular in need of native French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch speakers with a good knowledge of English. For more details, please contact us info@december18.net.







Spanish, Italian and French version available upon request at :



Spanish version translated by Ana Parra, Spain

French version translated by Catherine Thomas, France

Italian version translated by Eny Giambastiani, Italy.