International Legal Instruments
Keywords: United Nations
'Numerous international legal instruments (Treaties, Conventions, Declarations etc) exist in order to ensure the rights of all human beings, including both documented and undocumented migrants.
Non-discrimination, equality before the law and equal protection of the law are basic and general principles relating to the protection of human rights. The principle of non-discrimination means that any differences in the treatment meted out to migrants must conform to international law and must not breach migrants’ internationally recognized human rights.
For a complete overview of the human rights which do in fact apply to undocumented migrants under international human rights law, please refer to PICUM's report 'Undocumented Migrants Have Rights: An Overview of the International Human Rights Framework'.
Below is a list of the most important standard-setting legal instruments regarding the general protection of universal rights, crucial in order to fully understand the rights of undocumented migrants.
- United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
- Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(articles referring to migrant workers: 8, 13, 14, 21, 22, 26, 27)
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(articles referring to migrant workers: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
- International Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness
- International Convention against Discrimination in Education
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
- International Convention on the Rights of the Child
- International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- ILO Convention No. 143
(Supplementary Provisions) Convention concerning Migrations in Abusive Conditions and the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity and Treatment of Migrant Workers
- ILO Convention No. 97 on Migration for Employment (Revised), 1949
- Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals Who are not Nationals of the Country in which They Live