Inter-american program for the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants, including migrant workers and their families




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A. General Objectives

      • Promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants, including migrant workers and their families, through, inter alia, the identification and implementation of cooperative actions and the exchange of best practices.

      • Integration of considerations relating to the human rights of migrants and their families into the work of the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS, taking into consideration a gender perspective.

      • Linkage of the work of the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS with the activities of states, multilateral organizations, and civil society, including the migrants themselves and their families.

B. Specific Objectives




    1. Promotion of the exchange of best practices and cooperation among sending, transit, and receiving countries in order to fully respect and protect the human rights of all migrants, including migrant workers and their families.

    2. Effective and efficient migration management, through the exchange of best practices with a view to achieving organized, fair, and controlled migration processes, which may constitute a factor in economic and social development and take family interests into account, including family reunification.

    3. Promotion of international cooperation to deal with the diverse causes of migration, as well as its effects and impact on the sending, transit, and receiving societies.

    4. Attention to the special needs of vulnerable groups of migrants, including children, women, indigenous persons, persons of African descent, and persons with disabilities, among others.

    5. Attention to the needs of persons in transit and receiving countries who may be vulnerable, such as low-income families and individuals, and persons living in regions, or working in economic sectors, with high proportions of migrants.

    6. Prevention and technical cooperation in the fight against trafficking in persons, investigation and criminal prosecution of the persons responsible for this crime, and protection and assistance to victims of trafficking.

    7. Prevention and technical cooperation in the fight against the smuggling of migrants, and investigation and criminal prosecution of migrant smugglers.

    8. Promotion of orderly migration and support for migrant programs that permit social inclusion in the receiving countries, consistent with each state’s domestic legal framework and applicable international human rights law.

    9. Promotion of a more effective exchange of information on legislation and migration policies.

    10. Education and dissemination of information on human rights, migrants’ rights and responsibilities, and legal channels for migration and access to social services.

    11. Promotion of activities against manifestations or acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance against migrants, and recognition of the cultural and economic contributions made by migrants to receiving societies as well as to their communities of origin.

    12. Strengthening of or participation in, as applicable, transnational networks and forums for dialogue among migrant organizations, and support for the work of multilateral entities and civil society organizations.

    13. Inclusion of the human rights of migrants as a crosscutting issue in all the relevant activities undertaken by the OAS.

    14. Promotion of public policies, facilitation of practices, and, when requested, advice on legislative issues aimed at the inclusion of migrants in the transit and receiving societies, consistent with each state’s domestic legal framework and with applicable international human rights law, with special emphasis on the rights related to health, education, labor, culture, nondiscrimination, and against violence, intolerance, racism, and xenophobia.

    15. Development and support of programs for the reintegration of migrants and their families into the countries of origin.

    16. Protection of the rights of migrants and their families under immigration proceedings, consistent with each state’s domestic legal framework and applicable international human rights law, including the rights to a fair trial, protection from arbitrary arrest, due process of law, and equality before the law.

    17. Information, notification, communication, and consular assistance, in accordance with the obligations of the states parties to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.

    18. Facilitation of political participation by migrants and their families in their countries of origin.

    19. Promotion of measures aimed at fulfilling the objectives of reducing the transfer costs of remittances.

    20. Promotion and protection by states of origin of the human rights of the families of migrant workers who stay in their countries of origin, paying special attention to children whose parents have emigrated.



V. SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES
A. Instruct the Secretary General to provide a work plan to undertake the specific activities listed in this section, including the specific organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS that will carry them out, pursuant to Article 113 of the Charter of the Organization of American States, and instruct the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS to undertake the following actions:
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR):


    1. Carry out activities to promote the inter-American human rights system, with emphasis on the human rights of migrants and their families, including the use of the Commission’s website for that purpose.

    2. Facilitate the exchange of information and technical assistance on human rights and migration legislation with state agencies; government officials; organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS; multilateral organizations; and civil society organizations.

    3. Offer training on guarantees of due process in migration proceedings and on the use of the inter-American human rights system, to organizations that make free legal aid programs available to migrants and their families.

    4. Offer training to government officials from sending, transit, and receiving countries on consular protection to migrants in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, taking into account information, notification, communication, and consular assistance for migrants.





Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM):


    5. Conduct research on female migration and its impact on family structure, the labor market, and migration control, inter alia.

    6. Develop policies and programs designed to protect migrant women and their families, in particular women heads of household, and to combat violence against women.

    7. Promote the implementation of resolutions of the CIM and of the OAS General Assembly on trafficking in persons.

    8. Recommend ratification by the states of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its optional Protocols, and of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

    9. Promote mechanisms for the safe return and reintegration of trafficking victims and special procedures to protect juvenile victims of trafficking.



Inter-American Children’s Institute (IIN):


    10. Include in its activities the special situation of unaccompanied migrant children.

    11. Include in its activities the protection of juvenile victims of trafficking in persons.





Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD), when requested by member states:


    12. Promote the formulation and funding, within existing resources, of projects aimed at: (a) facilitating appropriate3/ access to the job market and improving the working conditions of migrant workers, with emphasis on aspects of safety and health; (b) strengthening democratic institutions; (c) providing education for democracy and human rights, for government officials and the private sector.

    13. Promote and support the management of bilateral agreements on seasonal or temporary migrant workers.

    14. Develop joint initiatives with the private sector to foster economic development and protect the labor rights of migrants and their families, consistent with each state’s domestic legal framework and applicable international human rights law.

    15. Promote, through specialized regional forums, discussions on the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants and their families, with the participation of governments, international organizations, private sector representatives, and community leaders.





Office of Education, Science, and Technology:


    16. Promote cooperation among educational institutions in different states to facilitate the incorporation of migrant children into schools and promote the exchange and training of teachers working in the field of bilingual and intercultural education.

    17. Foster the modernization of curricular standards to introduce standards on job-related skills.

    18. Include human rights education for migrants and their families within the activities of the Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices. In particular, consider including education for migrants and their families in the activities of the electronic observatory, organizing discussion forums on the topic, and gathering information on public education programs for migrants in sending, transit, and receiving countries.

    19. Consider the possibility of periodically organizing a hemispheric seminar for training public officials in immigration policies and human rights, as well as in the detection of forged documents, with the support and participation of specialists, international organizations, and civil society.





Summits of the Americas Secretariat:

    20. Assist the CAJP and participate in the follow-up and coordination process of this Program, and submit the results obtained to the Summits process.

    21. Administer, under the supervision of the CAJP, the specific voluntary fund to be established for the execution of the Program activities assigned to the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS.



Office for the Promotion of Democracy (OPD), when requested by member states:


    22. Further studies on comparative legislation related to the political participation of migrants in the democratic systems of their countries of origin and host countries.

    23. Generate, promote, and disseminate information regarding the legal, political, and practical implications of the political participation of migrants in their countries of origin for governments, migrant organizations, and electoral administrations, among others.

    24. Offer technical assistance in institution-building to election authorities and civil electoral registries, on institutional modernization, updating of their countries’ electoral rolls, and the issuance of documents necessary for migrants to participate in the electoral processes of their countries of origin.

    25. Offer technical assistance to legislatures that so request along with advice to parliamentary commissions on migration matters, including advice to states interested in the harmonization of migration legislation.

    26. Provide training to migrants in order to promote their participation in democratic processes.

    27. Promote democratic culture through formal and nonformal education, stressing the need for tolerance and solidarity, in accordance with the characteristics of each country.

    28. Facilitate multiparty and multisectoral discussions within political parties on the human rights of migrants and their families.



Department of Legal Affairs and Services:


    29. Compile and disseminate on its website current national migration legislation, policies, and requirements.



All the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS mentioned in this Program:


    30. Exchange best practices among the different implementers of this Program.

    31. Enter into cooperation agreements in order to contribute to the implementation of this Program’s objectives and specific optional activities.

    32. Incorporate into assistance and technical cooperation activities the condition of migrant and migrant family vulnerability and the elimination of discrimination without distinction as to race, sex, language, creed, or any other factor, consistent with each state’s domestic legal framework and applicable international human rights law.



B. Implementers other than OAS organs, entities, and agencies
1. OAS MEMBER STATES
Suggest to OAS member states for possible implementation the following specific optional activities, among others:


    33. Exchange information on the migration phenomenon, its characteristics, dimension, statistics, and implications. Improve statistical information systems and foster the exchange of information and best practices through the use of information and communication technologies.

    34. Facilitate access by migrants to public information, in accordance with domestic legislation.

    35. Empower migrants to make informed decisions by disseminating information on the legal avenues for migration and on the dangers associated with the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.

    36. Develop an institutional capacity to manage and deal with migration by training officials, reviewing legislation, and setting up organized and fair migration management systems.

    37. Consider the signing and ratification of, or accession to, all universal and inter-American human rights instruments, and take specific measures at the national level to strengthen respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons, including those of women, children, senior citizens, indigenous peoples, migrants, repatriates, and persons with disabilities, and anyone belonging to any other vulnerable group, among others.

    38. Consider signing, ratifying, or acceding to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its optional Protocols.

    39. Review their laws to ensure that those laws are consistent with their obligations to respect the human rights of migrants as set forth in international instruments on human rights and migration–including instruments relating to migration for employment and the protection of migrant workers–to which they are party, recognizing the states’ sovereign right to regulate the entry and stay of foreign nationals in their respective territories.

    40. Review each state’s migration practices regarding the entry and stay of foreign nationals to ensure that they are carried out in a manner consistent with applicable international human rights and refugee law.

    41. Train government officials working in the migration area in migration legislation, protection of the human rights of migrants and their families, conditions of vulnerability of migrants and their families, identification and protection of refugees and potential asylum seekers, the modus operandi of networks involved in the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons, and victim identification and assistance.

    42. Make efforts to harmonize migration requirements between interested states of the Americas and within subregional groups.

    43. Conduct programs to promote authorized migration and migrant worker agreements.

    44. Promote and implement voluntary repatriation programs as an alternative to deportation or expulsion.

    45. Conduct information and assistance programs aimed at migrants and their families who return to their countries of origin.

    46. Foster policies and actions that ensure the application of standards of due process in migration proceedings.

    47. Promote and facilitate public policies, legislation, and practices aimed at protecting the rights of migrants and their families under immigration proceedings, consistent with each state’s domestic legal framework and applicable international human rights law, including the rights to a fair trial, protection from arbitrary arrest, due process of law, and equality before the law.

    48. Issuance of identity documents to migrants by the states of origin at their consular representations.

    49. Promote consular protection in accordance with the obligations of the states parties to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, taking into account information, notification, communication, and consular assistance for migrants; and sign and implement cooperation agreements between the states on this matter, for instance networks of liaison officials.

    50. Offer broad public information campaigns and basic and secondary education programs on nondiscrimination and on understanding the contribution and worth of migrants and their families to the home and host societies.

    51. Cooperate and exchange information among states regarding migrant smuggling networks and develop individual and collective strategies in order to prevent these acts, investigate, prosecute, and punish smugglers, and, when appropriate, protect and assist migrants.

    52. Cooperate and exchange information among states regarding networks that traffic in persons and develop individual and collective strategies in order to prevent these acts, investigate, prosecute, and punish traffickers, and protect and assist the victims.

    53. Provide suitable mechanisms for reporting and filing complaints made by migrants and civil society organizations regarding violence and alleged violations of human rights, without prejudice to their right to access to applicable protection mechanisms under the inter-American and universal systems.

    54. With respect to the sending of remittances, take concrete actions to promote the establishment, as soon as possible, of necessary conditions to achieve the goal of reducing by at least half the regional average cost of these transfers, if possible, no later than 2008. Also, adopt as needed or appropriate, measures such as the promotion of competition between the providers of these services and the elimination of regulatory obstacles and other restrictive measures that affect the cost of these transfers, as well as the use of new technologies, while maintaining effective financial oversight.

    55. Support voluntary community or individual initiatives on the use of investment funds and productive projects to promote the general welfare and development of the communities of origin.

    56. Promote bilateral agreements on the social security benefits of migrants and their families, so that any social security contributions made by the state may be claimed in or transferred to the state in which the migrant worker lives.

    57. Promote the exchange of information and best practices among the different implementers of this Program.

    58. Protect the physical safety of migrants and take appropriate measures to prevent, combat, and eradicate violence and other forms of crime against migrants, such as fraud, extortion, and corruption.

    59. Provide appropriate and effective access by all migrants and their families to the judicial system so that they may exercise their rights.

    60. Provide the means to preserve the health of every person through sanitary measures relative to medical care to the extent permitted by public and community resources, consistent with each state’s constitutional and domestic legal framework and applicable international human rights law.

    61. Implement the actions and programs needed to improve effective access by all migrant children, wherever they may be, to educational systems, consistent with each state’s constitutional and domestic legal framework and applicable international human rights law.

    62. Implement the actions and programs needed to improve effective access by all migrants and their families to education, consistent with each state’s constitutional and domestic legal framework and applicable international human rights law.

    63. Facilitate the participation of migrants in the cultural life of the community.

    64. Make the best efforts to secure compliance with labor laws, with a particular focus on the situation and working conditions of migrant workers, by building transparency, knowledge, and professionalism, and by sharing best practices.

    65. Protect the lawful property of all migrants, including cash, real and intellectual property, bank accounts, and other financial instruments and property, and combat illicit acts against them.



2. MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS
Take into account the following activities carried out by multilateral organizations, in accordance with their mandates and, as funding permits, with a view to possible cooperation between them and the OAS member states and/or OAS organs, agencies, and entities:
International Organization for Migration (IOM):


    66. Set up information, resource, and comprehensive service centers for migrants to ensure that they receive advice and information on their rights as well as legal aid, medical care, and assistance in returning to their countries of origin.

    67. Train and support the work of local nongovernmental organizations so that they may offer advice and protection to migrants and their families.

    68. Conduct information campaigns for migrants and their families so they may be aware of their rights and defend them.

    69. Conduct information campaigns designed to empower migrants and their families so that they may be aware of the obligations deriving from their presence in transit and destination countries.

    70. Promote and offer public information campaigns for potential migrants on how networks that traffic in persons operate and the dangers involved in resorting to them; and offer protection and assistance to the victims, in conjunction with nongovernmental organizations, multilateral organizations, and public institutions.

    71. Promote and offer public information campaigns for potential migrants on how migrant smuggling networks operate and the dangers involved in resorting to them; and, when a state so requests, offer protection and assistance to migrants, in conjunction with nongovernmental organizations, multilateral organizations, and public institutions.

    72. Conduct studies on migration and trafficking in persons that may serve as working tools for developing policies and raising awareness, with special emphasis on gender analysis.

    73. Establish centers to provide protection and assistance to victims of trafficking in persons in transit and receiving countries, so that they may receive legal advice and medical and psychological care.

    74. Support states in the voluntary return and the reintegration of victims of trafficking in persons.

    75. Offer training on trafficking in persons to government officials and civil society organizations.

    76. Consider the possibility of lending support to states in meeting their obligation to promote the human rights of the families of migrant workers who remain in the country of origin, paying special attention to the children whose parents have migrated.



Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants:


    77. Offer broad public information campaigns and basic and secondary education programs on nondiscrimination and on understanding the contribution and worth of migrants and their families to the home and host societies.

    78. Take part in specialized workshops, seminars, and conferences to discuss the relationship between migration and human rights and to protect and guarantee the human rights of migrants and their families.





United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):


    79. Promote and offer technical assistance to states so that they may incorporate fair and efficient asylum processes into legislation on the matter and implement them in practice, based on international human rights standards and refugee law, introducing safeguards for the victims of persecution.

    80. Train government officials working in the field of migration on the identification and protection of refugees and potential asylum seekers.




International Labour Organization (ILO):


    81. Promote better understanding and awareness of ILO standards relating to migration for employment and the protection of migrant workers and assist interested states in conforming national migrant worker policies and national law and practice to the principles contained in these ILO standards.

    82. Strengthen the capacity of authorities, including labor inspection services and labor tribunals, to secure compliance with labor laws, with a particular focus on the situation and working conditions of migrant workers, by building transparency, knowledge and professionalism, and by sharing best practices.

    83. Promote actions designed to improve labor conditions, with emphasis on health and safety conditions at work, in particular in the case of the sectors that employ a high proportion of migrant workers.



All multilateral organizations mentioned in this Program:


    84. Exchange best practices among the different implementers of this Program.

    85. Enter into cooperation agreements in order to contribute to the development of the objectives and specific optional activities of this Program.





3. OTHER IMPLEMENTERS
Take into account the following activities developed by migrants as well as civil society organizations and the IIHR, in accordance with their mandate, with a view to possible cooperation among them and the OAS member states that request it, and/or OAS organs, agencies, and entities:
Migrants and civil society organizations:


    86. Promote and offer public information campaigns addressed to migrants on how migrant smuggling networks operate and the dangers involved in resorting to these networks.

    87. Promote and offer public information campaigns addressed to potential victims on how networks that traffic in persons operate and the dangers involved in resorting to these organizations.

    88. Promote and develop transnational networks of migrant organizations to facilitate communication and develop activities among migrants and their families in transit and receiving countries and in communities of origin.

    89. Promote the review and updating of national legislation on migration and labor rights in accordance with applicable international human rights and migration instruments.

    90. Train community leaders in the home and host communities on the human rights of migrants and their families.

    91. Offer assistance to migrants deprived of their freedom and monitor their detention conditions.

    92. Provide legal aid to migrants and their families subject to migration proceedings, emphasizing respect for the guarantee of due process of law.

    93. Exchange best practices among the different implementers of this Program.




Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR):


    94. Conduct joint cooperation programs to strengthen the work of ombudsmen and facilitate the exchange of information on human rights and migration legislation.

    95. Offer training to judges, government officials involved in migration proceedings, public defenders, and prosecutors, on international legal instruments and on national legislation in force to safeguard the human rights of migrants, in particular insofar as judicial guarantees are concerned.

    96. Offer training to government officials responsible for enforcing labor legislation on nondiscrimination against migrant workers, taking a gender approach and safeguarding trade union freedom.

    97. Offer broad public information campaigns and basic and secondary education programs and campaigns on nondiscrimination and on understanding the contribution and worth of migrants to the home and host societies.

    98. Prepare training materials and train civil society organizations on how they can conduct migrant-oriented human rights education campaigns and on the fight against trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants and their families and on the possibilities of authorized migration.

    99. Offer training on guarantees of due process in migration proceedings and on the use of the inter-American human rights system for organizations that provide free legal aid to migrants.

    100. Include in training activities components aimed at empowering migrant women and women left behind in the migrant’s country of origin.


VI. PROGRAM FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES
The organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS will include actions aimed at implementing the activities listed in this Program in their annual reports to the General Assembly of the Organization. Furthermore, member states of the OAS will be invited to report on the specific optional activities suggested in this Program.
The Permanent Council shall consider convening, through the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, an annual meeting, to be attended by the Program implementers, in order to exchange best practices, information, and new proposals for inclusion in this initiative. The Program implementers and the states will have the opportunity at this meeting to present the contributions mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
In order to guarantee appropriate Program follow-up, the Permanent Council through the CAJP will convene, starting in 2006 and prior to the Summits of the Americas, a meeting of experts to review the progress of the Program and submit recommendations to the Summits of the Americas. In its work, the meeting of experts shall consider the contributions submitted by the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS and by the member states, as well as the conclusions of the annual meetings convened by the CAJP.

VII. HUMAN AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES


In addition to the existing resources in the Regular Fund of the program-budget of the Organization, a specific voluntary fund, to be administered by the Summits of the Americas Secretariat, will be established to contribute to funding the activities assigned to the organs, agencies, and entities of the OAS in support of this Program. The CAJP will determine the use of such funds. This notwithstanding, the Program implementers may allocate and obtain funds to carry out the specific optional activities.
The political organ responsible for Program execution will be the CAJP, which, for this purpose, will receive support from the unit within the General Secretariat assigned for this purpose.
APPENDIX I

CROSS-REFERENCE TABLE



The following indicative table shows the relationship between the objectives and the activities assigned to each of the beneficiaries or implementers of the Program. The Program’s specific objectives appear in the columns of the cross-reference table, while the Program’s activities to be undertaken by the OAS organs, agencies, and entities, specific optional activities to be carried out by the states, and activities being carried out by the multilateral organizations in accordance with their mandates, appear in the table’s rows.


Objectives

Activities

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X

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X

X










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X







X







X

X










    5.










X

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X






















    6.










X

























X

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X

X
















X






















    9.










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X



















X




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X

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X







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X

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    13.

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X

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X




X

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    16.










X

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