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Making migration work for everyone

Graphic: Workshop participants visit a welcome centre for new migrants in Berlin

NHRIs from around the globe have met in Berlin to share their approaches and good practices to address the challenges faced by migrants.

Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions LogoGlobal Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) from around the globe have met in Berlin to share their approaches and good practices to address the challenges faced by migrants.

In Qatar, for example, the National Human Rights Committee has established 'community desks' staffed by representatives from different countries to connect with migrant workers who need advice or support with a labour-related complaint.

While in the Philippines, the Commission for Human Rights has established a program to monitor and advocate for the rights of Filipino workers migrating to other countries, especially those who can be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

The conference, held in Berlin from 3-4 May 2018, included representatives from NHRIs in the Asia Pacific, Africa, the Americas and Europe.

While the nature and scope of the human rights challenges faced by migrants differed between the regions, participants noted that there was a growing number of cases of undocumented migrants.

They also said that NHRIs should identify opportunities to work together so that migrants had access to information and support before and after crossing borders.


Graphic: A group shot of workshop participants


Discussions looked at the practical ways that NHRIs can use the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which is expected to be adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2018, to bolster their engagement with governments and other stakeholders.

The Global Compact is the first intergovernmental agreement of its type to include a specific reference to the role of national human rights institutions.

The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), which has contributed to the development of the Global Compact, released the results of a mapping study on the work being done by NHRIs to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers.

Presentations also highlighted the role of NHRIs to lobby their governments for ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

In addition, the International Labour Organization described the different ways in which NHRIs could support its efforts to protect the rights of migrant workers.

The two-day conference was jointly organised by the GANHRI, the German Foreign Office and the German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR).

Date: 16 May 2018


Overseas workers at the immigration gate, Manila

The international migrant population globally has increased in size but remains relatively stable as a proportion (around 3%) of the world's population. There were 244 million migrants in 2015; men comprise around 52% and women around 48%.

Find out more in the World Migration Report 2018 fact sheets


Image credits

  1. Workshop participants visit a welcome centre for new migrants in Berlin - APF/Kate Turner-Mann
  2. A group shot of workshop participants - APF
  3. Overseas workers at the immigration gate, Manila - Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines