12 Reasons to Ratify the UN Migrant Workers Convention

1 To put in place the legal foundation essential for national migration policy to regulate labour migration and ensure social cohesion.

2 To uphold and strengthen the rule of law by ensuring that legal norms define the basis of labour migration policy, its implementation, and its supervision.

3 To contribute to ensuring that legal parameters define treatment of all persons on the territory of a
country by setting the extent and limits of human rights of migrant workers and members of their

4 To signal that origin countries demand respect for the human rights of their nationals abroad and are accountable for the same standards as destination countries.

5 To reinforce the sovereign exercise of a State’s prerogative to determine labour migration policy by affirming conformity with universal legal and ethical norms.

6 To obtain public support for and compliance with labour migration policy and practice by
demonstrating legal soundness and conformity with internationally accepted principles of social justice
and human rights.

7 To strengthen social cohesion by establishing that all persons must be treated with respect by virtue of legal recognition and protection of their rights.

8 To explicitly discourage the ‘commodification’ and consequent abuse of migrant workers by legally asserting their human rights.

9 To reduce irregular migration by eliminating incentives for labour exploitation, work in abusive conditions and unauthorised employment that fuel trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.

10 To facilitate the establishment of effective national policy by calling on advisory services as well as good practice examples provided by the relevant standards‐based international organisations.

11 To obtain clear guidance for bilateral and multilateral cooperation for lawful, humane, and equitable labour migration.

12 To obtain international guidance on implementation of legal norms through the reporting obligations and periodic review by independent expert bodies.

*The 12 reasons were written by the International Steering Committee for the Global Ratification Campaign of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, on the occasion of the Convention’s 20th Anniversary. Five years later, the 12 reasons have become even more relevant. 

Image courtesy of the International Steering Committee