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Migrants most exposed to rights violations: UN


Geneva : Migrants are the most vulnerable to human rights abuse and will continue to be so unless appropriate actions are taken, the UN agency for human rights has said.

Migration is a worldwide phenomenon, and touches virtually all countries in all regions of the world, said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour in a statement Tuesday to mark the International Migrants Day which falls on Dec 18, WAM news agency reported.

In the statement, Arbour said that migrants contribute to the development of societies, they enrich the cultural and social fabrics both in the developed and the developing countries, and that today’s economies could barely function without their contribution.

“Yet in many countries, one sees a trend toward viewing migrants as commodities, rather than persons with rights and duties afforded to them through the international human rights framework,” he said.

He also underlined that the rights of migrants are not sufficiently protected and they suffer from stigmatisation and its ensuing discrimination.

“Irregular migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to all kinds of abuses, as their irregular status exposes them to a wide range of abuses and violations. Their children are often at risk, deprived of access to schools or health care facilities. Violations committed by private individuals often go unpunished when committed against irregular migrants.”

Arbour underscored the primacy of migrants’ human rights over their legal status.

“It is particularly important to recall that all migrants, irrespective of their legal status, enjoy the protection of international human rights standards laid down in human rights instruments,” she said in a message, condemning working conditions that amount to modern forms of slavery.

The high commissioner called upon all the countries to stop violation of human rights of migrants in various form.