In Dialogue with Rwanda, Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers Welcomes Adoption of Progressive Legislation and Asks about Migrants in Irregular Situations

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families today concluded its consideration of the second periodic report of Rwanda on its implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, welcoming Rwanda’s adoption of progressive legislation, and asking about the situation for migrant workers in irregular situations.

Introducing the report, Marie Chantal Rwakazina, Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office at Geneva, outlined reforms made to harmonise Rwanda’s legislation with its international obligations. The Government of Rwanda was committed to strengthening its capacities in the areas covered by the Convention. Rwanda had an open border policy, Ms. Rwakazina said, noting that for migrant workers and members of their families, that policy created an environment allowing them to freely leave and return to Rwanda as they wished. In regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda’s response had been implemented without discrimination, giving both nationals and non-nationals equal access to services. Rwanda was unreservedly committed to supporting the Committee and its mandate.

In the ensuing discussion, Committee Experts commended Rwanda for its adoption of progressive legislation for the protection of migrant workers. They asked the delegation for more information about the primacy of the Constitution and organic laws over international treaties and how Rwanda would deal with potential conflicts between the texts. The Committee also asked questions about the situation of the Rwandan diaspora, and sought clarification on support available abroad, and the contribution of Rwandans abroad to the country’s development.

The delegation of Rwanda consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Public Service and Labour; the Ministry in Charge of Emergency Management; the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, and the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will next meet in public at 3 p.m. on Thursday, 30 September, to launch its General Comment 5 on migrants’ rights to liberty and freedom from arbitrary detention.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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