Topic 1: Rights & Responsibilities
Rights & Responsibilities
Essential points on rights and responsibilities:
- There is no a specific category set for “migrant rights”. Rights enjoyed by migrants have been established in general through human rights law, refugee law, migrant workers and humanitarian law.
- The international and regional legal framework, international human rights law, highlight a range of obligations that states have in responding to vulnerable migrants in need of protection.
- Migrants have responsibilities, rights and obligations towards both transit and destination countries.
- These responsibilities and obligations are defined through national laws, however, are not limitless, and must still comply with States’ obligations under international law.
- Key among these is the respect for the human rights of all migrants, irrespective of migratory status.
International legal instruments that define rights and responsibilities of migrants:
- 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- 1949 the Migration for Employment Convention
- 1950 European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR
- 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees;
- 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons;
- 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
- 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- 1977 European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers
- 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child;
- 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW – the Migrant Workers Convention)
- 2000 United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC);
- 2003 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress & Punish Trafficking in Persons (the Palermo Protocol);
- 2004 Protocol on the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea & Air; and
- 2006 UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities.
The core minimum rights which apply to all people, including all categories of migrants:
- Right to life, liberty and security of person
- Right to self-determination
- Right to respect for private life, family, home and correspondence
- Right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression
- Right to human treatment as a detainee
- Right to equality before law
- Right to non-discrimination
- Right to leave any country and return to one’s own country
- Prohibition against slavery/the slave trade
- Prohibition against torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
- Prohibition against arbitrary prolonged detention
- Prohibition against retroactive penal measures
- Principle of non – refoulement