Research Handbook on International Law and Migration
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Research Handbook on International Law and Migration

Edited by Vincent Chetail and Céline Bauloz

Migration is a complex and multifaceted issue, and the current legal framework suffers from considerable ambiguity and lack of cohesive focus. This Handbook offers a comprehensive take on the intersection of law and migration studies and provides strategies for better understanding the potential of international legal norms in regulating migration. Authoritative analyses by the most renowned and knowledgeable experts in the field focus on important migration issues and challenge the current normative framework with new ways of thinking about the topic.
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Chapter 12: United Nations treaty bodies and migrant workers

David Weissbrodt and Justin Rhodes


In her remarks at the Fourth Global Forum on Migration and Development, Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that migration had become so widespread that '[m]any countries are now simultaneously countries of origin, transit and destination'. She noted that a number of migrants benefit from and contribute to 'economic growth and human development both in countries of origin and destination' but that many others are still forced to 'endure human rights violations, discrimination, and exploitation'. The 214 million individuals who currently live outside their country of origin comprise three per cent of the world's population. The International Labour Organization estimates that 90 per cent of these persons are migrant workers (105 million) and members of their families (almost 88 million). The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (Migrant Workers Convention) defines a migrant worker as 'a person who is to be engaged or has been engaged in remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national'. This definition of a migrant worker does not exclude people who lack proper compensation for their work in the country where they live; i.e., the host country. These individuals include undocumented migrants and victims of trafficking who are exploited by unscrupulous recruiters and employers and who are compelled to work in slave-like conditions.

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