Obstacles and Opportunities in Africa for the Ratification of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families Public Deposited

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Creator
  • Venturi, Emily
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences
Abstract
  • On December 18, 1990, the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICMWR), effectively establishing the principle of equal treatment and extending social and economic human rights to all regular and irregular migrant workers. Despite the Convention’s landmark capability to serve as a legal instrument for the protection of undocumented workers’ rights, as of 2017 only forty-six countries have agreed to its ratification, rendering the ICMWR the least ratified treaty among all major human rights treaties, with the significant absence of all Western European countries and the United States as signatories. A diversity of approaches to the ICMWR also exists within the African continent, as shown by the high ratification rates among West African countries, compared with the significant absence of migrant-receiving South Africa. The following article examines the ratification failures and the opportunities that the ICMWR poses for nation states and their interests, and for migration management within the African continent. The analysis subsequently develops a normative framework to evaluate the ICMWR’s attempt to establish a rights-based international framework for migration management, drawing from Amartya Sen’s institutionalization and feasibility critiques. It is concluded that African states and the global community should push for the ratification of the United Nations ICMWR, a thesis that draws normative support from Sen’s imperfect obligation framework and practical support from the heterogeneity of human rights actors beyond the nation state.
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Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Journal title
  • Global Africana Review
Journal volume
  • 2
Journal issue
  • 1
Page start
  • 41
Page end
  • 48
Language
  • English
Digital collection
  • Global Africana Review
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