The Triangle that could Square the Circle? The Un International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the Eu and the Universal Periodic Review

in European Journal of Migration and Law
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Even before it had been fully drafted, the un International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families was blighted by a debilitating lack of support from States. Described by one of the participants in the drafting process as the un’s best-kept secret, it remains the least popular of the ten core international human rights instruments and has not been signed or ratified by any of the 28 eu Member States. This article is the first substantive examination of the Convention in the context of the un’s universal periodic review. It suggests that the universal periodic review may give the kiss of eu life to the Convention by raising awareness of it, re-energising civil society to more actively advocate for its ratification and forcing Member States to once again justify non-ratification.

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References
  • 5

    S. Grant (2011) ‘The Recognition of Migrants’ Rights within the un Human Rights System: the first sixty years’ in: M. Dembour and T. Kelly (eds) Are Human Rights for Migrants? Abingdon: Routledge pp. 25–47 at p. 32.

  • 6

    Ibid. pp. 33–34.

  • 9

    G. Battistella (2009) ‘Migration and Human Rights: The Uneasy but Essential Relationship’ in: P. de Guchteneire A. Pécoud and R. Cholewinski (eds) Migration and Human Rights: The United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers’ Rights Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp. 47–69 at p. 51.

  • 13

    See R. Cholewinski (1997) Migrant Workers in International Human Rights Law: Their Protection in Countries of Employment Oxford: Clarendon Press p. 141.

  • 14

    See E. MacDonald and R. Cholewinski (2007) The Migrant Workers Convention in Europe: Obstacles to the Ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families: eu/eea Perspectives Paris: unesco pp. 21–22 and the literature cited therein.

  • 16

    P. de Guchteneire and A. Pécoud (2009) ‘Introduction: the un Convention on Migrant Workers’ Rights’ in: P. de Guchteneire A. Pécoud and R. Cholewinski (eds) Migration and Human Rights: The United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers’ Rights Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp. 1–44 at p. 7.

  • 18

    Grantsupra note 5 p. 35.

  • 20

    Battistellasupra note 9 p. 55. The ‘long negotiation process’ of the icmw is not contrary to popular belief the longest negotiation process involving core international human rights instruments. Both the iccpr and icescr were adopted in 1966 after 14 years of negotiations.

  • 21

    Battistellasupra note 9 p. 56.

  • 22

    De Guchteneire and Pécoudsupra note 16 p. 8.

  • 23

    Cholewinskisupra note 13 p. 203.

  • 24

    Grantsupra note 5 p. 36.

  • 25

    Battistellasupra note 9 p. 58.

  • 31

    Touzenis and Sironisupra note 26 p. 4; M. D’Auchamp (2011) Rights of Migrant Workers in Europe Brussels: ohchr Regional Office for Europe p. 6 available online at http://www.europe.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/Migrant_Workers.pdf.

  • 35

    See generally R. Cholewinski (2012) ‘The euAcquis on Irregular Migration Ten Years On: Still Reinforcing Security at the Expense of Rights?’ in: E. Guild and P. Minderhoud (eds) The First Decade of eu Migration and Asylum Law Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff pp. 127–178.

  • 38

    Vienna Action Plansupra note 36 para. 36(c)(ii).

  • 39

    Vienna Action Plansupra note 36 para. 36(d)(iv).

  • 40

    Tampere Conclusionssupra note 37 para. 24.

  • 41

    Cholewinskisupra note 35 p. 128.

  • 46

    Ibid. p. 4.

  • 51

    S. Carrera (2012) ‘The Impact of the Treaty of Lisbon over eu Policies on Migration Asylum and Borders: The Struggles over the Ownership of the Stockholm Programme’ in: E. Guild and P. Minderhoud (eds) The First Decade of eu Migration and Asylum Law Leiden: Martinus Nijhof pp. 227–254 at p. 252.

  • 56

    Ibid. p. 180.

  • 57

    Ibid. p. 181.

  • 73

    S. Peers (2012) ‘Immigration Asylum and the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights’ in: E. Guild and P. Minderhoud (eds) The First Decade of eu Migration and Asylum Law Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff pp. 437–468 at p. 468.

  • 80

    E. MacDonald and R. Cholewinski (2009) ‘The icrmw and the European Union’ in: P. de Guchteneire A. Pécoud and R. Cholewinski (eds) Migration and Human Rights: The United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers’ Rights Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp. 360–392 at p. 375.

  • 87

    B. Ryan (2009) ‘Policy on the icrmw in the United Kingdom’ in: P. de Guchteneire A. Pécoud and R. Cholewinski (eds) Migration and Human Rights: The United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers’ Rights Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp. 278–294 at pp. 284–285.

  • 91

    MacDonald and Cholewinskisupra note 14 pp. 20 and 28.

  • 92

    Ibid. pp. 19–20.

  • 93

    N. Piper (2009) ‘Obstacles to and Opportunities for Ratification of the icrmw in Asia’ in: P. de Guchteneire A. Pécoud and R. Cholewinski (eds) Migration and Human Rights: The United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers’ Rights Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp. 171–192 at p. 177.

  • 94

    MacDonald and Cholewinskisupra note 80 p. 387.

  • 97

    See H. Oger (2009) ‘The French Political Refusal on Europe’s Behalf’ in: P. de Guchteneire A. Pécoud and R. Cholewinski (eds) Migration and Human Rights: The United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers’ Rights Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp. 295–321 at p. 319; European Commission Communication on Maximising the Development Impact of Migration: The eu contribution for the un High-level Dialogue and next steps towards broadening the development-migration nexuscom(2013) 292 final 21 May 2013 p. 6. This Communication formed the basis of the Council Conclusions cited supra note 30.

  • 102

    MacDonald and Cholewinskisupra note 81 p. 387.

  • 103

    M. Kothari (2012) ‘From Commission to the Council: Evolution of un Charter Bodies’ in: D. Shelton (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law Oxford: Oxford University Press pp. 487–620 at p. 587.

  • 107

    See for example O. de Frouville (2011) ‘Building a Universal System for the Protection of Human Rights: The Way Forward’ in: M. Bassiouni and W. Schabas (eds) New Challenges for the un Human Rights Machinery: What Future for the un Treaty Body System and the Human Rights Council Procedures? Cambridge: Intersentia Part ii Chapter 2 at pp. 250–255.

  • 108

    M. Nowak (2011) ‘It’s Time for a World Court of Human Rights’ in: M. Bassiouni and W. Schabas (eds) New Challenges for the un Human Rights Machinery: What Future for the un Treaty Body System and the Human Rights Council Procedures? Cambridge: Intersentia Part i Chapter 1 at p. 23.

  • 116

    M. Grange and M. D’Auchamp (2009) ‘Role of Civil Society in Campaigning for and Using the icrmw’ in: P. de Guchteneire A. Pécoud and R. Cholewinski (eds) Migration and Human Rights: The United Nations Convention on Migrant Workers’ Rights Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp. 70–99 at p. 84.

  • 118

    Ibid. p. 5.

  • 119

    Ibid. p. 13.

  • 122

    De Guchteneire and Pécoudsupra note 16 p. 14.

  • 123

    Established in 1999December 18 was a non-profit organisation which advocated for a human rights based approach to migration at the international level. Its Board of Directors announced that the organisation would be dissolved by April 2011 due to a lack of funding though it succeeded in continuing some activities until 2013. Its website a treasure trove of information concerning the icmw and activities aimed at advancing its ratification is unfortunately no longer available.

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