Issue 93, January 2006





  1. News on the Migrant Workers’ Convention
  2. International Platform (IPMWC)
  3. Regional News
  4. Latest Articles, Press-releases and Statements
  5. Events






Since 1999, the December 18 team provides you with timely information on the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrant workers and members of their families. Your contribution means that we will be able to continue our work.


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1. News on the Migrant Workers’ Convention


The Committee examined various issues :


On the 15th December, the Committee also held a Day of General Discussion on protecting the rights of migrant workers. The results of that discussion will allow the Committee to make a contribution to the High-level Dialogue of the General Assembly in 2006 devoted to international migration and development, as was asked in the GA Resolution on the High-level Dialogue.


NGO submissions for the Day can be found on: http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cmw/mwdiscussion.htm as well as keynote interventions by Mr Cholewinski and Mr Lahlou.


The summary record of the Day (with interventions of NGOs present that day) can be found on: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/1d309134205a5a5cc12570ec002ca5ee?Opendocument


The celebrate International Migrants’ Day, the Committee organised, together with the Steering Committee of the Global Campaign for the Ratification of the Convention, a screening of the film Birds of Passage by Louk Vreewsijk. The film is about labour migration from Sri Lanka to the Middle East.


Final press release: http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/800FF806EA705890C12570F1004B6386?OpenDocument


Summary records (some sessions were closed and therefore no record is available):


12 December 2005



14 December 2005



The next Committee meeting will be held from 24 to 28 April 2006




The following candidates have been elected:

Amongst the current members: Ms Diéguez (Guatemala), Mr Kariyawasam (Sri Lanka), Mr Brillantes (Philippines) and Mr Taghizade (Azebaijan).

Amongst the new candidates: Mr Mehmet Sevim (Turkey) from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.


On 16th December 2005, the 60th Session of the UN General Assembly approved the draft resolution II, recommended by the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) in its report on “International migration and development” (A/60/490/Add.3). The final text (A/C.2/60/L.62) is the result of a compromise obtained after informal consultations subsequent to the introduction of the draft resolution by Jamaica, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China (A/C.2/60/L.16).


The High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development will be held in New York on 14 and 15 September 2006. It will discuss the overall theme of the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development in order to identify appropriate ways and means to maximize its development benefits and minimize its negative impacts. The outcome of the High-level Dialogue will be a Chairperson’s summary.

The HLD will be constituted of four round tables. Round table 1 will focus on the impacts of international migration on economic and social development; Round table 2 will focus on measures to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of migrants, and to prevent and combat smuggling of migrants and trafficking persons; Round table 3 will focus on the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development, including remittances; and Round table 4 will focus on promoting the building of partnerships and capacity-building and the sharing of best practices at all levels, including the bilateral and regional levels.




2. International Platform on the Migrant Workers’ Convention (IPMWC)


The International Platform on the Migrant Workers’ Convention (IPMWC) held its meeting on 9 December 2005. The report can be found on: http://www.december18.net/web/general/page.php?pageID=490&menuID=36&lang=EN


The Platform welcomed two new members: Kav LaOved (Israel) and Migrant CARE (Indonesia) (websites…) and appointed new advisory members.


The IPMWC also considered the coming High-level Dialogue. The Platform is concerned by the reduced space left for contributions from the civil society.


One-day informal interactive hearings are proposed “within existing resources” in order to hear the views of representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector before the HLD, but this system is very informal and did not give very satisfactory results in the past (pt 11 of the GA resolution).


The General Assembly (GA) has decided that representatives of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, civil society organizations and the private sector, one from each grouping being selected during the informal interactive hearings, may also participate in each of the round tables of the High-level Dialogue, and that the President of the General Assembly will determine the list of such representatives in consultation with Member States (pt 12 and 13).


Arrangements concerning the participation of non-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector in the High-level Dialogue will in no way create a precedent for other meetings of the General Assembly (pt 14).

Moreover, human rights aspects will be included in only one of the 4 round tables.


Some of the members (AI, FI, ICMC, December 18) had a meeting with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants on 15th December, where they highlighted their concern for the inclusion of human rights. The SR stated its readiness to receive inputs from NGOs.


Information on the IPMWC can be found on the December 18 website, please click here.




3. Regional News


The WSF 6th edition will be polycentric, being held in different places around the world. So far, four cities will receive the 6th WSF: Bamako, Mali (19-23 January 2006), Caracas, Venezuela (24-29 January 2006), Karachi, Pakistan (planned to take place in January 2006, but has been delayed of 2 month) and Bangkok, Thailand (21-22 October 2006).


At each of these events, migration is considered as an important theme:

-At the Caracas Forum: Theme 5 on Work, exploitation and reproduction of life includes Migrations and new forms of exploitation, Child labour, Human trafficking.

-At the Bamako Forum, theme 3 will be Marginalisation of the continent and its peoples, migrations, violation of economic, social and cultural rights.

At the Karachi Forum, several themes will deal with migration: theme D. Social Justice Human Rights and Governance: ix. Child and women trafficking and sexual exploitation; theme H. Peoples’ movements and alternative strategies; and theme I. Women, patriarchy and social change: i. Women in conflict zone, prisons and immigration.

For the activities planned in relation to migration please check the programmes of the forums at: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/main.php?id_menu=8_2&cd_language=2


Relations between Mexico and the US have been under strain following the death on 30th December of Guillermo Martínez, shot by an agent of the Border Patrol in the back near the wall separating Tijuana from San Diego and the approval on 16th December 2005 by the US House of Representatives of a new immigration package, containing the proposal to build a high-tech wall along the US border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration. Other measures approved were the obligation for employers to verify the status of workers; to make it a felony to live in the US illegally instead of a civil offence; to enlist military and local law enforcement to help stop illegal entrants.

It is in answer to these events that General Director of Human Rights of the Foreign Relations Secretariat, Juan José Gómez Camacho issued a statement condemning the use of force against migrants, insisted that his country would use all means to obtain respect of the human rights of migrants, and will therefore continue its fights in the multilateral arena. He insisted that United States ratify the Convention on Migrants Workers. He informed that Mexico has bilateral talks with various countries to get them to ratify the Convention. (Declaration to the daily newspaper El Universal on Saturday, 24 December 2005).


There are press reports about the imminent ratification of the UN Migrant Workers Convention by Bangladesh. The reports in the Daily Star are confirmed by the migrants’ rights organization WARBE, which says that they are hopeful the ratification will come through by the end of June 2006.


On the 21st of December 2005, the European Commission released its Policy Plan on Legal Migration, which is based on the outcome of the public consultation on the Commission’s Green Paper on an EU approach to managing economic migration. The Policy Plan defines a road-map for the next three years and lists the actions and legislative initiatives the Commission intends to undertake. As far as the development of EU common rules is concerned, the Commission chooses to present a General Framework Directive complemented by four specific directives targeting such groups as highly skilled workers, seasonal workers, remunerated trainees and intra-corporate transferees.




4. Latest Articles, Press Releases and Statements.


A grasp from the latest articles, press releases, newsletters and statements…


English: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=31705

02/09/2006 - The governments of five countries of Central America, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mexico met Monday to join forces against the U.S. plan to build a high security fence along portions of its borders to keep out undocumented immigrants, a goal that many U.S. citizens support.


English: http://www.december18.net/web/docpapers/doc3343.doc

17/12/2005 - The liberalization of services is one of the most contested areas leading up to Hong Kong.  The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is the WTO regulatory framework to facilitate this liberalization.  The GATS defines four modes of trade in services.  Mode 4 refers to the temporary migration of workers, to provide services or fulfill a service contract.  Because the current framework of Mode 4 allows for only temporary movement of workers across borders to provide services, and their visa as well as their right to stay and work are tied to their original terms of employment or contract and to their employer, the WTO is basically negotiating a global guest worker program.


English: http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/200512/kt2005123017515610230.htm

30/12/2005 – Interview with Mr. Shakil, vice president of the Seoul Kyonggi Inchon Migrant Trade Union (MTU)


More articles can be found in our content database that is updated on a daily basis. To add your articles, papers and press releases on the human rights of migrants please forward the text and/or URL to info@december18.net


To access the archives, click on the links below:


English: http://www.december18.net/web/papers/start.php?menuID=41&lang=EN

Spanish: http://www.december18.net/web/papers/start.php?menuID=41&lang=ES

French: http://www.december18.net/f-papers.htm

Italian: http://www.december18.net/web/papers/start.php?menuID=41&lang=IT





5. Events


A selection from our international calendar. If you wish to add your activity, please send detailed information to info@december18.net.





To access the calendar, click on the link below:





Published by December 18 vzw


Editors: Isabelle Slinckx and René Plaetevoet


Contact: info@december18.net


The Spanish, Italian, and French versions are available upon request.