Migrant Workers



The item "Legal Protection of Migrant Workers was taken up by the AALCO at its Thirty-Fifth Annual Session in Manila (1996) following upon a reference made by the Government of the Philippines. In its reference the Government of the Philippines had invited attention to the plight of migrant workers and the denial and abuse of their basic human rights. A preliminary study prepared by the Secretariat for the Thirty-Fifth Annual Session had outlined some basic issues concerning migrant workers in Asia and Africa. Reference was also made to available legal framework within the UN System and initiatives taken therein. At its Manila Session, the AALCC after exchange of views, urged Member States to transmit their views to the Secretariat as to how legal protection to migrant workers could be effectively implemented.

The study prepared for the 36th Session (Tehran) focused on some international trends in migration, the proposal for an International Tribunal and the UN Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers. During the Thirty-Sixth Annual Session held in Tehran, the Secretariat was mandated to study the utility of drafting a model legislation aimed at the protection of the rights of migrant workers within the framework of the UN Convention and the relevant UN General Assembly Resolutions. A preliminary framework of a model legislation was presented at the Thirty-Seventh Annual Session in New Delhi. Discussions at that Session revealed that, as the topic was under consideration at other international fora, the Resolution adopted at the Annual Session in New Delhi  directed the Secretariat to seek written comments from Governments on (i) the utility of drafting a model legislation for the protection of migrant workers; and (ii) the constitution of an open-ended Working Group for an in-depth consideration of the issue.

At the Thirty-Eighth Annual Session held in Accra, the item was briefly considered and, although AALCO had decided to convene the meeting of the open-ended Working Group at its previous Annual Session, such a meeting could not be held. A resolution on the topic was adopted at the Thirty-Ninth Annual Session of AALCO.