Resources from Campaign Partners

Students for Migrant Workers Rights: Rights Without Borders: realising human rights for all workers irrespective of citizenship

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This report has been prepared by Students for Migrant Rights on behalf of the Campaign for Australian Ratification of the Migrant Workers Convention. It addresses one of the central issues of human rights in the 21st century: human rights for workers who are outside their country of nationality.

In our world in which workers are already being called on in increasing numbers to contribute to the global economy in far away places it is essential to protect their human rights – to ensure that rights at work which have been painstakingly developed over a century and a half are not undermined because workers do not hold citizenship (either for migrant workers or for other workers in receiving countries).

This Report calls for Australian ratification of the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW). As far as is known there is no substantive barrier to ratification. Australia claims that it already substantially complies with the Convention; however this Report demonstrates that Australia can improve its own domestic record. Irrespective of that issue, Australian ratification will move forward the development of an international culture that accepts that migrant rights are human rights.

The aim of this report is to be used as a lobbying document to better inform decision–?makers on the ICRMW and how it fits in to the Australian legislative context. Specifically, we hope to demonstrate that current legislation, both international and domestic, is insufficient to protect migrant worker rights; and also to provide a counterpoint to the arguments most frequently made against the ratification of the ICRMW. In addition, this report can be used for public awareness and education campaigns for those who seek to know more about ICRMW and its compatibility with other international human rights treaties as well as the laws and policies relating to migrant workers in Australia.

Students for Migrant Workers Rights
Sohoon Lee
Juliette Mitchell
Bruce Amoroto
Petra Gimbad
Nicholas Leow
Nishandeny Ratnam
Ivone Rebelo
Haibin Zhou