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UN labor agency calls for 'rights-based' approach to migrant workers

[JURIST] The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) [official website] on Wednesday reiterated [study, PDF; executive summary, PDF] its call on the international community to take a "rights based approach" to international migration. The group said that 90 percent of the migration that occurs is driven by the search for employment and that countries should seek to provide "conditions of freedom, dignity, equity and security," to migrant workers. It said that under the right conditions migrant workers, could provide benefits to both their countries of employment and origin, but that they currently face low wages, discrimination, and a lack of social or legal protection. The group touts its 2006 Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration [text, PDF] as a set of guidelines that governments should use to draft legislation protecting migrant workers.

A number of countries around the world are facing problems with the treatment of international migrants. Earlier Wednesday, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants [official website] Jorge Bustamante said that immigrant workers entering Japan through government-run training programs face widespread racism and discrimination [press release; JURIST report], urging the country to increase immigrant protections. In January, the SOVA Center [advocacy website] reported a recent increase in xenophobic propaganda [JURIST report] in Russia. Earlier that month, the New York Times reported [text; JURIST report] that US officials have purposefully covered-up the deaths of some immigrants held in detention facilities.

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