Human rights: Overview

Human rights of migrants


This report focuses on the economic, social and cultural rights of migrants in host countries and State obligations in this context. The analysis draws from international instruments, the work of treaty bodies and special procedures mandate holders, as well as international and regional case law to highlight general State obligations and specific obligations regarding various economic, social and cultural rights of migrants.

Adopted by the Principals of the Global Migration Group on 30 September 2010, this statement expresses its deep concern about the human rights of international migrants in an irregular situation around the globe, and sets out the fundamental human rights framework in relation to such migrants.

Annually, the Special Rapporteur, reports to the Human Rights Council about the global state of protection of migrants’ human rights, his main concerns and the good practices he has observed. In his report the Special Rapporteur informs the Council of all the communications he has sent and the replies received from Governments. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur formulates specific recommendations with a view to enhancing the protection of the human rights of migrants. Upon request of the Commission on Human Rights the Special Rapporteur may also present reports to the General Assembly.

This paper is an updated version of a previous draft working paper entitled, "Migration, Children and Human Rights: Challenges and Opportunities.” This paper aims to address the issue of children’s and women’s migration from a human rights perspective by highlighting: (i) the particular situation of children and adolescents within the migration-development nexus, (ii) the gender perspective at all stages of analysis and programming and (iii) the significant gaps within legislation and policies, that inhibit the formulation of effective and rights-based responses relating to children, adolescents and migration.


Thank you for your interest in the Global Migration Group.

Please be advised that following extensive system-wide consultations and the proposal by the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration, the UN Secretary-General decided, at a meeting of the Executive Committee on 23 May 2018, to establish a UN Network on Migration, as a successor to the Global Migration Group, to ensure effective, coordinated system-wide support to the implementation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.


The UN Network on Migration can be contacted via its Secretariat at