UN Committee on Migrant Workers
last updated June 3, 2013
The UN Committee on Migrant Workers is the UN body that monitors State compliance with and enforces the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.[1] The Committee consists of 14 independent experts elected by State parties. The Committee currently carries out its mandate through the reporting/monitoring process. Article 77 of the Convention grants the Committee competence to consider individual complaints. This provision will come into force upon its acceptance by ten State parties to the convention.
States that have ratified the Convention are required to submit an initial report documenting compliance with the provisions of the treaty within one year of after acceding to the Convention, and thereafter to submit a periodic report every five years. The Committee currently convenes twice a year (April and September) in Geneva, Switzerland, to examine government reports and engage delegates from the State party in constructive dialogue. The purpose of the session is to assess the State’s fulfillment of its obligations under the Convention and determine how the State might address issues of primary concern. A list of issues is transmitted to the State party for its response prior to the session, and forms the basis of discussion. At the conclusion of the session, the Committee prepares concluding observations, which may include recommendations for measures to be taken to improve the situation for women in that particular country.  The recommendations of the Committee may have persuasive value, but are not legally binding. However, the Committee may request that the State party provide written information on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations or may appoint one of its members to follow up on the concluding observations. The Universal Human Rights Index Database provides country-specific human rights information, including concluding observations by topic.
The Committee welcomes the participation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the monitoring process and encourages NGOs to submit “shadow” or alternative country reports in advance of the sessions to inform the Committee members of issues of principal concern and assist the Committee in formulating conclusions and recommendations for State parties. NGOs that submit written reports may also orally present specific concerns to the Committee during the session. NGOs may also participate in many of the Committee’s proceedings as observers. 
While many issues of violence against women may come under the purview of the Convention, issues of trafficking and sexual exploitation of migrant workers are commonly addressed. The Committee specifically requests State parties to report legislation and procedures for monitoring and protecting migrant women from exploitation and violence, as well as procedures assisting victims of trafficking.[2]

[1] International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, adopted by General Assembly resolution 45/158, 18 Dec. 1990, entered into force 1 July 2003.