Migrants and human rights

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/16

The Commission on Human Rights,

Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set out therein, without distinction of any kind, in particular as to race, colour or national origin,

Affirming that every State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights must ensure to all individuals within its territory and
subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in that Covenant,

Reaffirming that every State party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights must undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in that Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind, including as to national origin,

Deeply concerned at the increasing manifestations of racism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination and inhuman and degrading treatment against migrants in different parts of the world,

Bearing in mind the situation of vulnerability in which migrants frequently find themselves, owing, among other things, to their absence from their State of origin and to the difficulties they encounter because of differences of language, customs and culture,

Considering that there is a need to make further efforts to improve the situation and ensure the human rights and dignity of migrants,

Recalling its resolution 1997/15 of 3 April 1997,

1. Acknowledges that the principles and standards embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights apply to everyone, including migrants;

2. Requests States, in conformity with their respective constitutional systems, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international instruments to which they are party, which may include the International Covenants on Human Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other applicable international human rights instruments, effectively to promote and protect the human rights of all migrants;

3. Takes note of the report of the working group of intergovernmental experts on the human rights of migrants (E/CN.4/1998/76);

4. Notes with appreciation that the questionnaire submitted by the working group of intergovernmental experts received, in a short period of time, an unprecedentedly large number of responses from Governments, clearly indicating great interest on the part of the international community in the effective realization of the human rights of migrants and the need to improve knowledge on the obstacles to the realization of those rights;

5. Decides to reconvene the working group of intergovernmental experts, on the same basis, in order that it may fulfil its mandate as set out in paragraph 3 of Commission resolution 1997/15, to meet for two periods of five working days prior to the fifty­fifth session of the Commission;

6. Requests the working group of intergovernmental experts to submit a report to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty­fifth session under the appropriate agenda item.

38th meeting
9 April 1998

[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XI.]


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