International migration and protection of the human rights of all migrants

International migration

Region countries have Instruments on International migration

Policies and instruments

Migrants are part of a social process in countries of the region that is highly relevant in the twenty-first century. One of the most urgent problems is the lack of protection accorded to many of these people in the course of theirjoumeys, their integration and their return. As migration is a potentially beneficial process for countries, communities, families and individuals, the institutions, legislation and public policies that govern migration should be based on a rights approach. The international human rights framework establishes guidelines and obligations, while agreements at varying levels establish shared lines of action, and the involvement of civil society lends legitimacy to this management.

The specific chapter of the Cairo Programme of Action adopted in 1994 and the agreements emerging from the Second High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in 2013 constitute a framework akin to the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, as they emphasize the need for protection and for affirmative strategies on the part of the international community. Regional and subregional initiatives, such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and integration arrangements, offer a platform for developing and monitoring some measures. The broad experience and commitments assumed at the Regional Conference on Migration and the South American Conference on Migration testify to the political support given to this issue. United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes, together with the International Organization for Migration (lOM), have specific mandates that must be considered among mechanisms for follow-up to the measures.

Priority Measures

  • International migration

    Ensure that international migration issues, including migration regularization policies are fully incorporated into global, regional and national post-2015 development agendas and strategies.
  • Assistance and protection to migrants

    Provide assistance and protection to migrants regardless of their migration status, especially vulnerable groups, with full respect for their rights and in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and those of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, highlighting the need to afford them comprehensive attention in countries of transit and destination.
  • Global and regional strategies for the protection of the rights of migrants

    Prepare comprehensive global and regional strategies to prevent infringement of the human rights of migrants, as well as to take advantage of the benefits and face the challenges arising from migration, including those relating to remittances and skilled migration in high-demand sectors, as well as the differential participation of men and women and the transnationalization of care.
  • Social security for migrants

    Promote the signing of bilateral and multilateral social security conventions to enable migrant workers to accumulate years of service.
  • Dialogue and international cooperation to reduce asymmetries in the migratory phenomenon

    Achieve concrete results through dialogue and international cooperation relating to migration, human rights and development in regional forums as well as in forums linked to other regions of the world, in particular North America and the European Union, with a view to reducing existing asymmetries in this area and asserting the interests of Latin American and Caribbean countries.
  • Decriminalize migration

    Protect decisively the human rights of all migrants, avoiding any form of criminalization of migration, and guarantee migrants access to basic social services in education and health, including sexual health and reproductive health, where appropriate, regardless of their migration status, with special attention to highly vulnerable groups, including unaccompanied minors, displaced persons in an irregular situation, women who are victims of violence, victims of trafficking, returnees and forcibly displaced asylum-seekers.
  • Intergovernmental cooperation mechanisms for the rights of migrants

    Give priority, in each country, to strengthening coordination channels between sectors and between countries, to reinforcing intergovernmental cooperation mechanisms in order to guarantee the exercise of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, from a gender-based perspective.