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Universal-MigrationHRlaw-PG-no-6-Publications-PractitionersGuide-2014-eng

Universal-MigrationHRlaw-PG-no-6-Publications-PractitionersGuide-2014-eng

40 | PRACTITIONERS GUIDE

40 | PRACTITIONERS GUIDE No. 6• Asylum-seekers or refugees: migrants who enter a country,whether regularly or irregularly, in order to escape persecutionin their country of origin as defined by Article 1A of the GenevaRefugee Convention.• Other migrants needing protection: this category includes severalkinds of migrants whose status is not well-defined but who are inneed of international protection, recognised, to varying extents,by international law. These include stateless persons (whetheror not they are asylum-seekers or refugees), victims of trafficking,unaccompanied children whose status has not been defined,failed asylum-seekers or undocumented migrants who cannotbe expelled due to principle of non-refoulement (see Chapter 1).This classification is only partially appropriate, since, as was recognisedby the Global Commission on International Migration, “an individualmigrant may belong to one or more [. . .] categories at the same time.She or he may move successfully from one category to another in thecourse of the migratory movement, or may seek to be reclassified fromone category to another, as when an economic migrant submits a claimto asylum in the hope of gaining the privileges associated with refugeestatus.” 14By choice or force of circumstance, the status of a migrant is almostnever stable. An economic migrant might become a refugee while in thecountry of destination. A refugee might lose his status and become anundocumented migrant because the circumstances which led to a fear ofpersecution cease to exist in his country of origin. A regular migrant mightbecome undocumented if she overstays a residence permit term, or mightbe regularised, through amnesties, or regular employment. “Overstaying”has been identified as one of the major channels through which a migrantacquires irregular status. As the UNDP pointed out, “in some island states,such as Australia and Japan, overstaying is practically the only channelto irregular entry; even in many European countries, overstay appears toaccount for about two thirds of unauthorised migration.” 15Factors such as sex and gender, age, race and national origin, also havea significant impact on the migration experience.Migrants often face discrimination based on their race, national, religiousor ethnic origin or identity. This constitutes a form of discriminationadditional to the xenophobia to which they are often subject forthe mere fact of being non-nationals. As the UN Special Rapporteuron the right of migrants pointed out, “[p]eople whose colour, physical14 Migration in an interconnected world: New directions for action, op. cit., fn. 7, para. 15. Seealso, UNDP, Human Development Report 2009, op. cit., fn. 6, p. 26.15 UNDP, Human Development Report 2009, op. cit., fn. 6, p. 26.

MIGRATION AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW | 41appearance, dress, accent or religion are different from those of themajority in the host country are often subjected to physical violenceand other violations of their rights, independently of their legal status.The choice of victim and the nature of the abuse do not depend onwhether the persons are refugees, legal immigrants, members of nationalminorities or undocumented migrants.” 16 She also highlighted thesituations in which some migrants are preferred to others for grantingof authorisations of entry or in the labour market, due to their race,national or ethnic origin or religious identity. 17 Such discrimination isprohibited by international human rights law, and, more specifically, bythe International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of RacialDiscrimination (ICERD). 18 The international community has also rejectedthis discrimination and has strongly held in the Durban Declarationthat “policies towards migration should not be based on racism, racialdiscrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”. 19Women migrants often face additional human rights concerns as a resultof their sex and gender. Not only may they confront discrimination asa result of their status as non-nationals, but in addition a range of sexor gender-specific forms of discrimination may arise for them as women.In the words of the Committee on the Elimination of Discriminationagainst Women female migrants “often experience intersecting formsof discrimination, suffering not only sex- and gender-based discrimination,but also xenophobia and racism. Discrimination based on race,ethnicity, cultural particularities, nationality, language, religion or otherstatus may be expressed in sex- and gender-specific ways.” 20 TheCommittee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has noted that“there are circumstances in which racial discrimination only or primarilyaffects women, or affects women in a different way or to a differentdegree than men,” and “racial discrimination may have consequencesthat affect primarily or only women.” 21 Women migrants may also be at16 Gabriela Rodríguez Pizarro, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants, Annual Report1999, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2000/82, 6 January 2000, para. 32. See also para. 48.17 Ibid., para. 54.18 Article 1, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination(ICERD). The permission of distinctions between nationals and non-nationals of Article 1.2ICERD cannot override the prohibition of discrimination based on race, colour, descent, ornational or ethnic origin. See, General Recommendation No. 30, Discrimination againstNon-citizens, CERD, UN Doc. HRI/GEN/1/Rev.9 (Vol.II), 1 October 2004; and, GabrielaRodríguez Pizarro, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants, Annual Report 2000, UNDoc. E/CN.4/2001/83 9 January 2001.19 Declaration of World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and RelatedIntolerance, 2001, para. 12. See also, paras. 16, 38, 47–51, and for asylum-seekersand refugees, paras. 52–55.20 CEDAW, General Recommendation No. 26, op. cit., fn. 8, para. 14.21 General Recommendation No. 25, Gender-related dimensions of racial discrimination, CERD,UN Doc. HRI/GEN/1/Rev.9 (Vol.II), 20 March 2000, para.1.

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    ISBN 978-92-9037-151-X

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