Welcome to this Special Issue on migration and human rights. This issue has been percolating in our minds for quite some time, and the Source team owes a debt of gratitude to our expert authors for helping us bring it to fruition.
In this issue, we aim to clarify some of the many ways in which international human rights law intersects with migration policy.
The very act of migrating raises human rights issues at every step along the way, from home, across international borders, to destination communities, and back again. In the most promising view, according to one of our authors, a human rights framework can "mediate the competing interests of sending and receiving states, communities, and the individuals caught up in the process of migration."
What is the likelihood, however, that state-driven migration policy, concerned as it is with national sovereignty, can accommodate broader human rights concerns? Where is there progress? What are the areas of controversy and commonality?
We could not cover the entire human rights landscape in one issue. We
recognize, however, that social and cultural rights are also on the
agenda as integration becomes a much more developed field of policy
What you will find this month is thoughtful analysis by the following authors:
- Stefanie Grant, formerly with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Amnesty International, outlines the
intersection between migration and human rights,
and the growing attention received by migrants on the human rights agenda.
- Monette Zard of the International Council on Human Rights Policy examines how the
"vision, language, and framework of human rights"
are more useful tools than most imagine.
- Caroline Dommen of 3D discusses the opening that the WTO's
General Agreement in Trade and Services (GATS)
provides for promoting human rights.
- Ryszard Cholewenski of the University of Leicester explains why
protecting all workers, and especially undocumented workers,
is important in a globalizing world.
- Jennifer Yau of MPI outlines the basic provisions of the
UN's International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families
and the main challenges it has faced.
- Jacqueline Bhabha of Harvard University untangles the difference between
trafficking and smuggling
and the variations in protection for each group.
- Rebekah Alys Lowri Thomas of the Global Commission on International Migration examines how the use of
biometrics at borders
may violate migrants' privacy rights.
- Bill Frelick of Amnesty International USA reports on the friction between the
right to seek asylum and detention policy in the United States.
- In our monthly Policy Beat,
MPI's Jennifer Yau and Betsy Cooper highlight recent immigration-related developments in the US President's budget proposal, the State of the Union address, and more.
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On behalf of the Source team, thank you for your comments and
Kimberly Hamilton, Ph.D
The Migration Information Source is a project of the
2002-2013 Migration Policy Institute.
All rights reserved.
Migration Information Source, ISSN 1946-4037
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