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Resolution adopted by consensus* by the 113th Assembly
(Geneva, 19 October 2005)

The 113th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Recalling the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development adopted in Cairo in 1994, in particular chapter X on international migration, the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development adopted in 1995, the Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, and the outcome documents of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth special sessions of the United Nations General Assembly,

Recalling all relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, including resolution 59/241 on international migration and development, resolution 58/143 on violence against women migrant workers, resolution 59/262 on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, resolution 59/203 on respect for the right to universal freedom of travel and the vital importance of family reunification, resolution 59/194 on protection of migrants, resolution 59/145 on modalities, format and organization of the high-level plenary meeting of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly, as well as resolutions 57/270B, 58/190 and 58/208, in which it was decided to devote a high-level dialogue of the United Nations General Assembly to international migration and development, in order to discuss the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development and identify appropriate ways and means to maximize its development benefits and minimize its undesirable impacts,

Recognizing that international migration requires a holistic and coherent approach based on shared responsibility, which also and concurrently addresses the root causes and consequences of migration,

Recalling the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, which deals with the violation of the human rights of trafficked persons, and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, which deals with the need to punish smugglers, both of which supplement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime,

Reaffirming the obligation of all States to promote and protect basic human rights and fundamental freedoms for all migrants and their families regardless of their migrant status, reaffirming also the principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and recalling the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97), and the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No.143),

Recalling the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families,

Reaffirming the principles contained in the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees of 1967, and the need to strengthen the protection of refugees,

Reaffirming the need, on the one hand, to strengthen the international protection regime providing protection and durable solutions for refugees and other persons of concern, including asylum-seekers, returnees and stateless people, which is of concern to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and on the other hand, to strengthen the protection capacity of refugee-receiving countries,

Also recognizing that irregular migration is often caused by several different factors which demand special attention,

Noting, however, that in the framework of globalization, while various multilateral trade initiatives are deepening free-market integration, opening commercial borders and eliminating or reducing trade barriers to flows of goods, capital and investments, some geographical borders are becoming increasingly closed, which in turn results in the restriction of people's rights and options for circulation, and for movement from one country to another,

Recognizing that the developed nations are ageing and experiencing lower fertility rates and that migration can be an important factor in ensuring their future economic well being,

Emphasizing that the emergent paradigms of migration, namely circular and transnational migration, represent a potential lever for development for sending and receiving countries,

Recognizing that among other important domestic and international factors, the widening economic and social gap between and among many countries and the marginalization of some countries due in part to the uneven impact of the benefits of globalization and liberalization have contributed to the growth of regular and irregular flows of people between countries,

Acknowledging the important contribution provided by migrants to development, and aware of the complex interrelationship between migration and development,

Stressing that the global dimension of international migration calls for dialogue and cooperation aimed at improving the understanding of the migration phenomenon and at identifying appropriate ways and means to maximize its benefits and minimize its negative impacts,

Acknowledging the growth in the number of female and child migrants and their particular vulnerability to exploitation and abuse,

Recognizing the need for countries of origin, transit and destination to ensure that all migrants are not subjected to any kind of exploitation or discrimination and that the basic human rights and dignity of all migrants and their families, in particular of women migrant workers and migrant children, are respected and protected,

Recognizing the negative effects that extreme forms of xenophobia and racism bring about, such as the emergence of groups applying murderous violence to migrants, as well as elements trafficking in drugs with connections to organized crime, and deploring these developments,

Acknowledging that international migration has brought great benefits to migrants and their families, as well as to receiving countries and many communities of origin,

Noting the importance of remittances transferred by migrant workers, which are one of the major sources of foreign exchange for many countries and which make an important contribution to the reduction of poverty and increase their development potential, albeit without constituting a substitute for endogenous development policies and international cooperation,

Noting also that a general commitment to tolerance and mutual recognition facilitates the effective integration of migrants, helps to prevent and combat discrimination, xenophobia and violence against migrants and promotes respect, solidarity and tolerance in receiving societies,

Recognizing that special attention should be paid to the linkages between migration and health issues, especially in relation to the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and that the lack of access to health services and treatment for migrants increases health risks both for migrants and for receiving societies,

Taking note of the report of the Global Commission on International Migration to the United Nations Secretary-General, as well as of the Secretary-General's own report on international migration and development (A/59/325), and welcoming the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to hold a high-level dialogue on migration and development in 2006,

Welcoming the informal organization of the Geneva Migration Group for regular discussions of the migration phenomenon by the heads of six international organizations, namely, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the International Labour Organization (ILO),

Welcoming the initiatives taken by States to create regional and multilateral frameworks of cooperation in the field of migration which could serve as platforms for non-binding interstate consultative processes on migration issues,

Acknowledging that interaction with key social actors, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other actors of civil society, enriches immigration policies and programmes,

Recognizing that, in terms of migration flows, any country can concurrently fall into the categories of country of origin, transit and/or destination, and that governments and parliaments play a primary role in establishing migration polices,

  1. Urges governments, in cooperation with the international community, to reinvigorate their efforts aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), thus contributing to the elimination of conditions that force people to migrate, such as poverty, the negative impact of human activities on the environment, the failure to apply international law, the continued existence of agricultural subsidies, the lack of official development assistance, and the deficit of good governance and of the rule of law;

  2. Invites parliaments to support the elaboration and implementation of migration policies that address circular and transnational migratory movements, so as to ensure that the financial, human and social capital gained abroad benefits the home country;

  3. Calls upon parliaments to ensure that migration policies are coordinated at the national level, between the relevant ministries and other government bodies and agencies;

  4. Invites governments to address, with the assistance of the international community, the issue of the migration of skilled workers from developing countries (the brain drain) in view of its impact on prospects for achieving the MDGs, especially those relating to health and education, and to explore the possibility - both bilaterally and multilaterally - of establishing mechanisms for financial compensation or for development aid;

  5. Also invites governments, in keeping with the increasing openness and liberalization of the world economy, to explore possibilities to open up their labour markets by increasing legitimate channels of access to them for migrants, for instance by considering temporary and circular migration schemes, when appropriate with the involvement of supervised employment agencies; and encourages governments to provide amnesties for irregular migrants, in accordance with national law, and to facilitate the situation of returning migrants and to assist them;

  6. Reaffirms that more systematic and comprehensive migration policies are needed to prevent irregular migration;

  7. Acknowledges that the problems faced by the migrant population at the global level have three dimensions, namely: a political one, which recognizes such groups as minorities entitled to the rights of expression and participation; an economic one, whereby their contribution to the growth of receiving economies is acknowledged; and a cultural one, whereby they contribute to the creation of new patterns of socialization and expression;

  8. Encourages parliaments and governments to persuade countries of destination to adopt policies aimed at integrating all migrants into their new communities, especially by helping them to learn the local language and preventing the creation of ghettoes where dissent, discrimination and despair are likely to flourish;

  9. Reaffirms that governments must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular with regard to international instruments relating to human rights law, migration law, refugee law and international humanitarian law;

  10. Also reaffirms that governments must guarantee the respect of basic human rights for all migrants and their families, regardless of their migrant status;

  11. Demands that receiving countries maintain all persons belonging to the same family together in the repatriation process whenever possible;

  12. Stresses that the increasing feminization of migration at the global level needs to be adequately reflected in migration-related policies, with a view to ensuring that the migration of women does not result in their disempowerment and exploitation;

  13. Calls upon migrants' countries of origin, transit and destination to cooperate in managing migratory flows to combat trafficking and smuggling in humans, which are among the worst forms of exploitation and violations of the fundamental rights of migrants, in particular women and children, so as to identify policies and practices that are discriminatory against women and ensure that gender inequalities are not reproduced or exacerbated in the migration process;

  14. Encourages governments and parliaments in countries of origin and destination to take into account the higher levels of illiteracy among women and to facilitate the integration of women migrants, whether workers or caregivers, by developing programmes of language training aimed at improving their communication skills;

  15. Calls upon governments to promote a gender-sensitive approach to migration and trafficking and to take the necessary actions to address specific aspects of women's migration in general, and trafficking in women and girls in particular;

  16. Calls upon governments and parliaments, especially those of countries of origin and destination, to enact laws that put an end to exploitation and abuse of foreign workers, in particular women migrants, and put in place criminal sanctions to punish perpetrators of violence against women migrant workers, and provide victims of violence with full assistance and protection;

  17. Further calls upon governments to pay special attention and provide appropriate assistance and protection to migrant children, especially unaccompanied minors and trafficked children;

  18. Encourages governments to draw up and implement campaigns to combat xenophobia and violence against migrants, highlighting the positive contributions made by migrants in receiving societies;

  19. Calls upon the media to report in a responsible manner on migration-related issues, avoiding the promotion of false images and negative stereotypes of migrants;

  20. Calls upon governments to increase the coherence of their policies and step up cooperation on migration issues, including by holding meetings and conferences on migration and development, with an emphasis on bilateral, regional and global cooperation, particularly in the context of irregular migration;

  21. Encourages States to ratify and adhere to the international legal instruments relating to migration, in particular the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights for all Migrant Workers and Their Families;

  22. Calls upon governments to involve key social actors such as NGOs and other actors of civil society to participate in the drawing up and implementation of migration policies;

  23. Encourages governments to prevent situations in which persons who are not authorized by law to do so participate in the detention and expulsion of migrants;

  24. Reaffirms the need to adopt policies and undertake measures aimed at ensuring the safe, unrestricted and undelayed transfer of migrants' remittances to their countries of origin at reduced cost;

  25. Also reaffirms the need for governments, the donor community and all stakeholders to respect international aid commitments and address the issue of international migration and development in a more coherent way, within the broader context of the implementation of agreed economic and social development goals and respect for all human rights;

  26. Calls upon governments, the United Nations Secretary-General and all relevant bodies, agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system and other relevant intergovernmental, regional and subregional organizations, within their continuing mandated activities, to respect the distinction between the international refugee protection regime and international migration policies, so as to address the issue of international migration and development in a more holistic and coherent way;

  27. Also calls upon the United Nations Secretary-General and relevant bodies, agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system as well as other relevant intergovernmental regional and subregional organizations to provide continued funding for research into the many dimensions of migration and development, including the analysis of current statistical data and future trends; and stresses in this respect the importance of ensuring data comparability at the international level;

  28. Requests the IPU Secretary General to transmit this resolution to the United Nations high-level dialogue on international migration and development, to be held in 2006, as the Union's contribution to its deliberations.

*The delegation of Australia expressed reservations on the tenth preambular paragraph and on operative paragraph 5. The delegations of South Africa and Suriname expressed reservations on the twenty-second preambular paragraph with regard to the spread of HIV/AIDS. In addition, the delegation of South Africa expressed a reservation on operative paragraph 16. The delegations of Latvia and Georgia expressed reservations on operative paragraph 4 with regard to the establishment of mechanisms for financial compensation. The delegations of Iceland, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Sweden expressed reservations on the second part of operative paragraph 5. The delegation of Japan expressed a reservation on operative paragraph 21. The delegation of Thailand expressed reservations on operative paragraphs 27 and 28, citing the need for the establishment of action plans on migration and development in all countries, with the active involvement of parliaments, and with the sponsorship of the United Nations.

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