International Migrants Day: Realizing the Rights of Migrants

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families, and towards the end of an extraordinary year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, Education International urges governments to protect and empower people respect rights of all migrants, including children, youth, teachers and staff in support of education.

Today, an estimated 272 million people are international migrants, two-thirds of whom are migrant workers1 who have left their homes in search of dignity, opportunity and security. The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened respect for rights and conditions in a world already marked by acute inequalities. Marginalized groups, including migrant workers, their families and communities, are hard hit by this multi-dimensional crisis.

In one Common guide The UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, published in May, as well as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants found that "some countries (migrants) have the highest levels of (migrants) contagion and death from COVID -19 ". Difficult, often overcrowded living conditions (both when moving from one country to another and in host countries) and barriers to accessing health care made migrants particularly vulnerable to the spread of the disease. Migrants were also exposed as they made up a significant proportion of workers in key sectors (health and care, food, transportation, cleaning, etc.). In these extremely difficult health circumstances, Education International urges governments to protect and ensure migrants' right to health, to facilitate access to health services regardless of migration status, and to ensure that they are included in vaccination strategies, especially when serving in essential services and industries.

Almost 1.6 billion children and young people around the world suffered from the largest disruption of education in history. There is evidence that the closure of educational institutions may have widened the performance gap between students with and without disadvantaged backgrounds, including children and youth with a migrant background. Such inequalities have affected the ability of immigrant students to benefit from distance learning due to connection problems, interruption of school-based services (including language support), poor housing and physical space to study, lack of support from parents, etc. Education International urges governments to conduct equity reviews in the education sector to systematically assess the impact of full / partial closure of schools and educational institutions on the most vulnerable students, teachers and educational support staff, including those with an immigrant background / status. and urgently address the major justice issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

In addition to the vulnerabilities that emerged prior to the pandemic, migrant families and communities are more likely to be affected by the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, as migrant workers are over-represented in the most affected employment sectors (e.g. housework, hospitality, cleaning and Care) and rather precarious and fixed-term contracts. They are often unable to organize and negotiate, and lack social protection and income security. Thirty years after its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families (C143) remains one of the least ratified human rights treaties. With the start of the formal review of the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2018 Education International urges governments to protect the dignity and rights of migrant workers by ratifying and applying ILO Convention 143 and other relevant international labor standards, as well as introducing migrant workers and their families, regardless of their migration status, to COVID-19 policy Include economic recovery and plans.

As the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi pointed out in a Joint announcement March: “Our response to this epidemic must include – and actually focus on – those that society often neglects or banishes to a lesser status. Otherwise it will fail. “On International Migrants Day, Education International recognizes the vital contribution that migrant workers, teachers and staff have made to support education during this crisis, stands in solidarity with all migrants and reaffirms its commitment to defending and promoting their rights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *