Armenia: Call for ratification of the migrant workers convention

Press release
en fr

20th Anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Migrant Workers Convention:

Call for ratification by the Republic of Armenia

Paris, Erevan, 9 June 2011

Dear President Sargsyan,

We are writing to you today regarding our campaign for the universal ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (Migrant Workers Convention). FIDH is very pleased to hear that the Armenian Government may be taking steps to ratify in the near future. We take this opportunity to urge you to do so.

Migration continues to be one of the most important social and economic phenomena affecting Armenia, as a country of both immigration and emigration. It is estimated that the total number of Armenian emigrants is over 800 000 individuals, representing more than 25% of the population. Remittances constitute the largest source of foreign exchange and are crucial for Armenia’s economy. Armenian migrants particularly in Russia face rising xenophobia as well as difficulty working legally which increases their vulnerability.

Although for many persons migration is a positive experience, many others migrate under duress and face severe hardships in their countries of destination. Migrant workers all over the world remain particular targets of abuse, discrimination and exploitation by smugglers, recruitment agents and employers. Yet ratification of the Migrants Workers Convention will contribute towards combating these human rights violations, improving the working and living conditions of migrants and strengthening their legal protection.

Since its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1990, the Migrant Workers Convention has been ratified by 44 states (including Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and signed by a further 15 states.

By ratifying the Convention, Armenia will demonstrate that it recognises the specific vulnerabilities of migrant workers and promotes humane and lawful working and living conditions. It will send a strong signal that it is committed to protecting the rights of its citizens abroad.

We urge the Government of Armenia to seize the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Migrant Workers Convention to ratify this core human rights instrument.

We would be very interested to receive your Government’s views on the matters raised in this letter and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Souhayr Belhassen
FIDH President

Artak Kirakosyan
Civil Society Institute, Chairman of the Board
FIDH Secretary General

Read more