NHRC international conference concludes

Kathmandu, November 14

International conference on ‘Protection of Rights of the Migrant Workers’, organised by the National Human Rights Commission concluded today with 21-point Kathmandu Declaration.

The NHRC organised three-day international conference that brought together migration experts, activists and stakeholders, NHRC representatives from more than a dozen countries, along with UN, non-government organisations, civil society organisations, practitioners and academicians.

Extensive discussion was held on various challenges and prospects for protecting rights of migrant workers, particularly focused on the situation in South–East migration in the Asia-Pacific Region during the conference.

The declaration has decided to enhance institutionalised networking of human right institutions at bilateral and regional levels, for cooperation, collaboration and advocacy to respect and protect the rights of migrant workers and their families.

It has categorised Countries of Origin (COOs), Countries of Transit (COT) and Countries of Destination (CODs) in relation to migration process, and has vowed to establish mechanisms to provide effective access to justice to migrant workers, who were victims of various forms of rights violation.

It would address problems of discrimination and violence against women migrant workers such as trafficking, physical and sexual abuse, labour exploitation, denying basic wages, subjecting them to slavery and servitude like conditions,

substandard health, safety and security, according to the declaration. It has promised to open more legal and safe pathways for women migrant workers to achieve gender equality in the migration process by making special arrangements between the COOs and CODs.

It would promote universal ratification of various international conventions on the protection of the rights of migrant workers and their families, as stated by the declaration.

The declaration has also suggested 10-point plan of actions to achieve its goals. Some of the plan of actions included continuation of signing agreements between NHRIs at the bilateral and regional levels for facilitating joint cross-border monitoring of human rights of migrant workers; to identify and report gross violence, discrimination, exploitation and abuses committed against labour migrants; to periodically evaluate the migrant workers’ information system instituted in the COOs and CODs and to suggest measures for improvement.