MIGRANT.NEWS, Issue 79, 30 March 2004



First meeting with the Members of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families


The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, held their first session at the United Nations Office in Geneva from 1-5 March 2004.


Please find enclosed a report of the Committee meeting with the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which took place on Thursday 4th March 2004. It’s a joint summary prepared by Amnesty International, December 18, International Catholic Migration Commission and Migrants Rights International.







Reply by Mr. Vitorino on the Parliamentary question regarding the EC position vis-à-vis the UN MWC


In the context of the Belgian campaign for the ratification of the UN MWC and following action undertaken by Wereldsolidariteit, Mrs. Miet Smet, Member of the European Parliament, asked on January 8, 2004, the following parliamentary question to the European Commission:



Available in all EU languages


The response by Mr. Vitorino is - to date - only available in French and Dutch and can be accessed here:






His reply can be summarized as followed: The Member States are probably in a better position to explain why they did not ratify the UN Convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families. One of the main obstacles for ratification seems to be the fact that the Convention gives rights to all migrant workers, without taking into account their legal or illegal situation in the host country. A significant number of the rights mentioned in the Convention are, furthermore, guaranteed by other instruments at the EU level and apply to EU citizens as well as workers from third countries (Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, European Convention on Human Rights). The fact that the same rights are guaranteed by different provisions could lead to different interpretations, which could harm the legal security.


Because of the complexities in the provisions of the Convention, the Commission will carry out a study of the similarities and differences between the Convention and the common immigration policy as it has been developed at the EU level since the coming into force of the Amsterdam Treaty.



European Economic and Social Committee (EECS)


The European Economic and Social Committee has adopted a structured position on immigration policy, based on respect for human rights. In view of the Member States’ lack of action over the UN Convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families, the Committee wants to work to underline the importance of its ratification. It is therefore holding a hearing to ascertain the views of organisations dealing with migrants and Council representatives. This meeting is scheduled for 4th May 2004 in Brussels. The EESC is a consultative body where the representatives of social partners and other civil society organisations can make their voices heard in the EU institutions.


For more information, contact: Pierluigi.Brombo@esc.eu.int

Website: www.esc.eu.int






Published by December 18 vzw



For more information, please contact Myriam De Feyter at:



Spanish, Italian and French version available upon request.


Spanish version translated by Maria Ruiz, Spain

French version translated by Cathérine Thomas, France

Italian version translated by Eny Giambastiani, Italy.