Call to Respect the Rights of Irregular Migrants

In a landmark statement issued in Geneva on 30th Sep, fourteen major intergovernmental organizations urged respect for the rights and protection of the tens of millions of irregular migrants worldwide.

Signatories to the statement included the World Bank, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, UNESCO, the UN Development Programme, the International Labour Organization, the International Organization for Migration and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose head Ms. Navanethem Pillay led the effort.

The statement was welcomed by the Secretary-General of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) Johann Ketelers who noted that “For years – and all too much recently – even their (irregular migrants) most basic human rights have widely been denied, ignored or considered only in pieces or symptoms.”

He went on to point out the important contribution of irregular migrants to the economy as well as the individual, family and societal costs of leaving such an enormous class of people outside the law, outside protection, exposed to exploitation, abuse and expulsion.

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