Launch of Safeguarding the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families

Report Launch on Monday 5 April 2004 at 11.30a.m. in the St Stephens Green Room of the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin 2.

Immigration is one of the most important challenges facing Ireland and other member states of the European Union. The extent to which a state through its laws and policies provides for and protects the human dignity and rights of individual migrants and their families is a measure of a just and equitable society.

A new publication being launched by the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) provides a set of benchmarks from which to assess existing immigration policy and to inform future policy development.

In the foreword to the publication on ‘Safeguarding the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families’, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, stated that ‘As a society, it is imperative that we deal with the issues posed by immigration in a positive, coherent and humane way’.

Welcoming the joint NCCRI and HRC report, she said ‘The HRC and the NCCRI are to be congratulated on this timely publication. It provides a comprehensive review of the international human rights standards applicable to migrant workers and their families, as well as an account of the progress being made at EU level in developing safeguards’.

The rights of migrants and their families is a multifaceted issue which includes consideration of issues such as conditions of entry and residence, work permits, family reunification, freedom of movement, racism and discrimination, employment, and social inclusion.

Dr. Maurice Manning, President of the Irish Human Rights Commission, stated that ‘in the formulation of the forthcoming residence and immigration legislation the Government must ensure that the highest international human standards are applied in all areas of immigration policy".

Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson of the NCCRI, stated that ‘Progress at a European level in developing a common framework for immigration policy has to date been too focused on the security and control agenda. There now needs to be a stronger focus on issues such as ensuring migrant workers and their families do not experience the sting of discrimination and racism and long term residents are fully supported to become integrated into Irish society’

Note to Editors

  • This is the first joint publication by the HRC and the NCCRI.
  • The full title of the joint NCCRI and HRC report is ‘Safeguarding the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families. A Review of EU and International Standards: Implications for Policy in Ireland’.
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