27 September 2021
The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families this morning opened its thirty-third session, hearing an address by Ibrahim Salama, Chief of the Human Rights Treaties Branch at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Committee adopted the agenda and programme of work for the session, during which it is scheduled to review the reports of Rwanda and Azerbaijan regarding their implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
Ibrahim Salama, Chief of the Human Rights Treaties Branch at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, commended the Committee for its development and adoption of a general comment on migrants’ rights to liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention. He further noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had drastically affected all forms of human mobility, leaving hundreds of thousands of migrants stranded and unable to return to their home countries. Migrant workers’ specific right to freedom from collective expulsion was not explicitly protected in other human rights treaties. Migrant workers were often at high risk of infection with COVID-19 due to overcrowding and lack of access to basic services in immigration detention.
It was unfortunate that the Convention still had only 56 States parties, Mr. Salama said, encouraging all stakeholders to work toward more ratifications of the Convention. The annual meeting of Chairpersons of the human rights treaty bodies had presented an opportunity to discuss the development of a review calendar across treaty bodies, the harmonization of working methods, and technology to increase the efficiency, transparency and accessibility of the system. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights would continue to support the treaty bodies, including by facilitating, if necessary, another meeting of the Chairs.
The Committee will next meet in public at 3 p.m. to consider the second periodic report of Rwanda (CMW/C/RWA/2).