doc. 6 rev.
13 April 1998
Original: Spanish





          I.          INTRODUCTION


          1.          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, at its 92nd special session, decided to begin consideration of the issue of migrant workers in the Hemisphere, in order to prepare a report on the matter.  The General Assembly of the Organization of American States, at its twenty-seventh regular session, which took place in Lima, Peru, in June 1997, recommended to the IACHR that it include in its next Annual Report an evaluation of the situation of migrant workers and their families in the Hemisphere. [1]


          2.          The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in its 1996 Annual Report, submitted a progress report on the situation of migrant workers and their families in the Hemisphere [2] and, among other subjects, proposed that a questionnaire on the issue be prepared and submitted to all the OAS member states so that they might provide the information necessary for preparing the final report.  Further, it agreed on the preparation of a separate questionnaire for governmental and nongovernmental organizations that work with migrant workers, in order to gain the most comprehensive view possible of the situation.  As a result, IACHR composed a working group to study the situation of migrant workers, composed of Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía, rapporteur; Dr. Jean Joseph Exumé, rapporteur; Dr. Relinda Eddie, Dr. Bertha Santoscoy, and Dr. Pablo Saavedra, who joined recently.


          3.          Taking into consideration what has been proposed by the IACHR, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, at its twenty-seventh regular session, resolved to urge the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to intensify its efforts with a view to submitting a report on the situation of migrant workers and their families. 




          4.          The IACHR has prepared and sent to the OAS member states an exhaustive questionnaire on migrant workers and their families, the purpose of which is to gain the broadest possible view of migration and related practices and legislation in each state in the Hemisphere.  Furthermore, a different questionnaire was prepared and sent to intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations working in this area.


          5.          In the preparation of the questionnaire, a number of different international instruments were taken into account, including the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; the American Convention on Human Rights; the United Nations International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; Convention No. 97, on Migration for Employment, of the International Labour Organization (ILO); the ILO's Convention No. 143, on Migrant Workers; and the ILO's Recommendation No. 100, on the Protection of Migrant Workers in Underdeveloped Countries and Territories.


          6.          The questionnaire consists of three parts.  The first is an introduction.  The second, called preliminary considerations, describes the scope of the prospective report, the terminology used in preparing the questionnaire, and the method employed in preparing certain questions, so that the member states would be aware of these when formulating their responses.  The third consists of the questions themselves, which in turn are divided in two groups:  general and demographic questions, and questions on rights and practices in the states relating to the situation of migrant workers.


          7.          The IACHR urges both member states and governmental and nongovernmental organizations to respond to the questionnaire within six months, since the anticipated information will be highly useful in preparing the final report on migrant workers and their families in the hemisphere.


          8.          In its on-site visits to Canada and the Dominican Republic in 1997, the IACHR included on its work agenda the special issue of migrant workers and their families.  Thus, in Canada, the Commission held working meetings with governmental organizations, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Human Resources Development Canada, from which it received detailed information on the subject.  Similarly, during its visit to the Dominican Republic, the IACHR met with different governmental authorities, nongovernmental organizations, and international organizations such as UNICEF, the IOM, and the UNHCR, from which valuable information on the issue was obtained.  The Commission is grateful for the valuable cooperation and goodwill provided extended its on-site visits by both the Canadian and the Dominican officials. 


          9.          Dr. Alvaro Tirado Mejía, rapporteur for the IACHR's working group on migrant workers, made a working visit to Argentina to obtain information on migration there.  He met and shared points of view with different Argentine state officials, as well as with members of nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations, from whom he received valuable information.  He held working meetings with, among others, Ambassador Vicente Espeche Gil, Director of the Migration Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Aldo Carreras, Undersecretary for Population, Ministry of the Interior; Dr. Hugo Franco, Director for Migration; Juan Pablo Cafiero, Chair of the Population Committee of the honorable Chamber of Deputies; Dr. Lelio Mármora, Director of the International Organization for Migration; and Father Wallmar Scarabelli, Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Migration and member of the Argentine Catholic Commission on Migration.  The IACHR wishes to express its appreciation for the cooperation provided by the Argentine authorities in this area.


          10.          The Commission has worked on compiling both international law and the national law of each state on the subject of migration.  




          11.          To make it possible to properly carry out the activities of the working group on the situation of migrant workers and their families, the IACHR has decided upon:


          The creation of a Voluntary Fund for Migrant Workers and Their Families.  It will be open to contributions from OAS member and permanent observer states, multilateral and international organizations, cooperation agencies, foundations, and private groups.  The fund will be administered by the Executive Secretariat to finance the activities of the group of rapporteurs. 


          12.          The Commission, in order to continue its progress in preparing the report on migrant workers and their families, decided to:


          a.          Continue studying the situation of migrant workers during its future on-site visits.


          b.          Conduct on-site visits to member states for the specific purpose of observing the situation of migrant workers and their families and evaluating it first-hand.


          c.          Carry out working visits to study centers devoted primarily to migrant workers' issues, so as to make available more complete information on the subject.


          d.          Begin evaluating the results of the questionnaires that were sent out, with a view to preparing the final report.

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     [1] AG/RES. 1480 (XXVII-0/97), Proceedings, Vol. 1, twenty-seventh regular session, Lima, Peru, June 1-5, 1997.

     [2] 1996 Annual Report of the IACHR, p. 754.