EU: the “reliable neighbour” must recognise the rights of migrants, at last!

Europe, Migration and Asylum, Press Release

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On this 18 December 2019, International Migrants Day, EuroMed Rights joins the calls from several organisations of promotion and defence of human rights and asks the European Union (EU) and its Member States to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 18 December 1990.

To this day, 55 states have ratified the Convention. Neither a single European state nor countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean like Tunisia are part of this list.

The EU benefits economically from migration but refuses to recognise the rights that should be guaranteed to all migrants. The Convention does not add anything to the European or national protection instruments already in existence, but it clarifies the rights of migrant workers by reminding the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

By making a commitment to “stand up for our values and world-class standards”, the new President of the European Commission, Ms von der Leyen, calls for a “geopolitical” Commission, “guardian of multilateralism,” and who is a “reliable neighbour”. Nevertheless, by refusing to sign this Convention, the EU and its Member States undermine multilateralism and weaken even more the situation of migrants and their families who look towards the EU either to work, to find a refuge against the economic, social or political tensions of their countries of origin or simply to join their families.

Today, we ask the EU and its Member States to ratify the Convention in order to send a strong message to migrants and their families instead of closing the door on them. Recognising the benefits of migration, opening legal, efficient and safe channels to access the European territory and guaranteeing the rights of migrants and their families is the duty of a more ambitious and more solidary Europe!