Zero Draft of the CMW-CRC Joint General Comment on the Human Rights of Children in the Context of International Migration

[posted 30 April 2017] The Zero draft of the joint general comment (JGC) of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was published on 24 April 2017. The JGC will provide guidance to States parties to both Conventions on the situation of children in the context of international migration, including children that migrate with their parents who are migrant workers; children that are born to parents who are migrant workers; and children that migrate unaccompanied and separated from their parents (for reasons such as seeking employment, family reunification or as victims of trafficking, labour exploitation and child labour).

Following a call for submissions, over 60 written contributions were received by the Committees, including submissions on statelessness and the child’s right to a nationality by the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion and other organisations. The Zero Draft includes a section on ‘the right to a name, identity, and to a nationality’, which contains important language on statelessness. For example, the text states that:

“The primary purpose of protecting the right of every child to acquire a nationality is to prevent a child from being afforded less protection because he or she is stateless. … States are … required to adopt every appropriate measure, … to ensure that every child has a nationality when he or she is born. One such measure is the conferral of nationality to a child born on the territory of the State if the child would otherwise be stateless.”

The Committees will now hold consultations on the Zero Draft, with States, UN agencies and entities, NGOs and other stakeholders, before finalising the JGC. Consultations will take place in Geneva (2 May), Madrid (4-5 May) and Bangkok (24-25 May).