Education International
Education International

UN: EI delegation calls for the protection of migrants’ rights

published 19 July 2013 updated 19 July 2013

The EI delegation attending the Informal Interactive Hearings on International Migration and Development at the United Nations (UN) called for the protection and promotion of migrant workers’ rights.

The hearings took place at UN Headquarters in New York on 15 July 2013, in advance of the Second High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD) on October 3-4, 2013.

The hearings were attended by 440 organizations, including NGOs, trade unions, migrant diaspora, academics and member states. Susan Martin, Georgetown University, and Dennis Sinyolo, Education International served as co-moderators

Opening session At the opening session UN General Assembly (UNGA) President, Vuk Jeremi?,  acknowledged the contribution of migrant workers to the development of their countries of origin and host countries. Jeremi? encouraged civil society to shape preparations for the High Level Dialogue in October.

In his opening remarks, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, said the recommendations of civil society provided through the Interactive Hearings would contribute to a five-year action agenda, with benchmarks and indicators.

In his remarks, Chairperson of the Council of Global Unions and General Secretary of Building and Wood Workers International, Ambet Yuson, stressed the importance of addressing migration issues in all sectors and keeping migration governance within the UN system.

Trade Unions The EI delegation noted that despite their well-documented positive contributions to society, migrant workers are quite often victims of discrimination, abuses and violations of their rights. Inequality, xenophobia, exploitation, forced labour and human trafficking are were on the rise.  And reversing this problematic trend required courageous political action.

The EI delegation joined other global unions in urging governments to ratify and apply the UN Convention on the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Families, ILO Migrant Conventions C97 and C143, and ILO Convention 181 on Private Employment Agencies, and guarantee the application of international labour standards.

The EI delegation called on governments to better regulate and monitor recruitment and employment practices, by promoting ethical recruitment policies and practices.

The EI delegates further called for gender-sensitive and rights-based migration policies and the creation of sound and transparent registration and licensing systems, simplifying and harmonising recruitment procedures, removing recruitment fees imposed on migrant workers and instituting sanctions to prevent abusive and unethical recruitment practices.

EI’s delegation comprised Shannon McLeod Lederer (American Federation of Teachers- AFT), Samidha Garg (National Union of Teachers –NUT, UK), Dennis Sinyolo and Rebeca Sevilla (EI Head Office).

The Interactive Hearings were preceded by 2-day civil society preparatory meeting.

To find out more about the High Level Dialogue and civil society participation, please, follow the links below:



Meeting Summary