Migrants, much more than simply agents for economic development – Key UN expert group

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IOM evacuating African migrants in Libya

"Migrants are human beings with human rights, not simply agents for economic development," the largest body of independent experts in the United Nations Human Rights system said on the eve of a crucial discussion on international migration and development, convened by the UN General Assembly in New York on 3 and 4 October 2013.

In an open letter to UN Member States, the group of international human rights experts urged world governments and intergovernmental organisations to adopt a migrant-centred approach during the upcoming High-level Dialogue and beyond.

"Migration is in essence a fundamental human phenomenon, so it is essential for discussions on international migration to be focused on human rights," human rights expert Chaloka Beyani said on behalf the group of 72 independent experts charged by the UN Human Rights Council to address specific country situations and thematic issues in all parts of the world.

Mr. Beyani called on States to discuss, among others, key issues like the decriminalization of irregular entry and stay; the move away from detention as a tool in addressing irregular migration, and the development of alternatives to detention; how to combat xenophobia and xenophobic violence against migrants; and the rights of migrant children, both in countries of transit and destination.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’12″

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