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Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Human Rights of Migrants: Item 72 (b and c)

Statement by the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Today, the composition of our societies is the result of historic and contemporary migratory flows. The migration is a multidimensional reality and acknowledge the complexity of migratory flows and international movements, which occur within and between geographical regions, including from South to South and, in this regard, call for a better understanding of migration patterns and realities across and within regions and subregions.

CELAC Recognizing the historical importance of international migration on developing nations from an economic, political, social and cultural points of view and the need to strengthen the synergies between international migration and development at global, regional, and national levels, so we stressing the need that migration flows to and from the region be regular, safe and orderly, so as to guarantee the human rights and the dignity of migrants and their families.

We recognize in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, human migration, with its various characteristics and implications, should be properly and systematically addressed by all countries, and the international community, counting on the valuable contribution of relevant entities and actors at different levels. Thus, it is necessary that States of origin, transit and destination, work together to fully exploit the benefits of migration while finding solutions to the challenges that international migration represents in our time.

CELAC reaffirms “…the need to promote and protect effectively the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, especially those of women and children, persons with disabilities, older persons, and indigenous peoples and to address international migration through international, regional or bilateral cooperation and dialogue and through a comprehensive and balanced approach, recognizing the roles and responsibilities of countries of origin, transit and destination in promoting and protecting the human rights of all migrants, and avoiding approaches that might aggravate their vulnerability”, as we all agreed in the Declaration of the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.

CELAC reaffirms that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. We recall that our obligations under international law prohibit discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Yet in many parts of the world we are witnessing, with great concern, increasingly xenophobic and racist responses to migrants.

In that regard, our countries, mindful that the causes for migration are multiple, encourage countries of transit and destination to effectively promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, including women, children. Likewise, we encourage States to address irregular migration from a humanitarian perspective so that policies regulating the flow of migrants are implemented with special attention given to the principle of the best interest of the child, on the basis of the International Law and the international instruments of human rights, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

We urge the International Community, and particularly those countries of origin, transit and destination, to ensure full respect for human rights of all migrants; to avoid inadequate detention procedures, that hinder their legal, procedural and substantive rights and, when applicable, to guarantee return procedures, with necessary safeguards, regardless of their immigration status, without distinction or discrimination of any kind, and with particular attention to women, adolescents, and unaccompanied/separated girls and boys.

We also commit to fostering the development of public policies aimed at creating conditions to enhance the overall development of our populations, particularly children and teenagers, as a way to safeguard their fundamental rights and improve their living conditions and therefore discourage unsafe and irregular migration.

Mr. Chair,

We welcome the adoption of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, as well as the ongoing preparatory process for the global compact on safe, regular and orderly migration. And the Latin American and Caribbean regional meeting of experts, held at ECLAC in Chile, on August 30 and 31 of 2017, with the view to generate inputs for governments in the process of intergovernmental negotiations for the Global Compact.

We welcome the offer of Mexico to organize a preparatory meeting, during the ongoing process for the global compact on safe, regular and orderly migration, which will take place in Puerto Vallarta in December 2017.

We commit to strengthening cooperation and coordination to address violations and serious abuses of the human rights of migrants, serious crimes such as illicit smuggling and human trafficking, and other types of abuse and exploitation.

We share a comprehensive vision of international migration, based on a human rights approach, which rejects the criminalization of irregular migration, as well as all forms of racism, xenophobia and discrimination against migrants; which recognizes migrants as subjects of rights regardless of their immigration status, and on an equal footing with nationals of the host country; which provides the integration of migrants in our societies; promotes the linkage with nationals living abroad; and facilitates the reintegration of returnees in their countries of origin.

We urge the receiving countries to end the policies of selective treatment of migrants on the basis of their country of origin.

CELAC encourages States to implement gender-sensitive policies and programmes for women migrant workers. It is an opportune time to undertake concrete actions to protect migrant workers, mainly women, when facing the various forms of exploitation and violence, and to ensure effective ways to respect their dignity, fair working conditions and productive employment and decent jobs, as well as their full integration to the labor force.

We also recognize that migrants make positive and profound contributions to economic and social development in their host societies and to global wealth creation. They can help to respond to demographic trends, labour shortages and other challenges in host societies, and add fresh skills and dynamism to the latter’s economies. We recognize the development benefits of migration to countries of origin, including through the involvement of diasporas in economic development and reconstruction. And we reaffirm the compromise that we all assume in New York Declaration to commit to reducing the costs of labour migration and promote ethical recruitment policies and practices between sending and receiving countries, as well as promote faster, cheaper and safer transfers of migrant remittances in both source and recipient countries, including through a reduction in transaction costs, as well as the facilitation of interaction between diasporas and their countries of origin. We ask that these contributions to be more widely recognized and strengthened in the context of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

CELAC also recognizes the importance of the right of migrants to a safe voluntary return to their countries of origin and the need to create domestic, social and political conditions to provide opportunities for them. In this regard, we encourage countries of origin to formulate and implement national policies and strategies that would discourage unsafe migration, which may result in loss of life of migrants.

Finally, CELAC emphasizes that migration needs to be considered in an integral manner, and that the United Nations is the most comprehensive forum in which to address all facets of this phenomenon, in view of the challenges confronting migrants globally.


Thank you,


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