Know your rights

The following 20 rights are enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which all countries are bound as well as the Migrant Workers Convention to which only countries who have ratified are bound. It is the obligation of the state to ensure these rights. Regrettably, many countries do not comply with these rights.

1. Migrant workers and members of their families shall be free to leave any State, including their State of origin. This right shall not be subject to any restrictions except those that are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present part of the
Convention.

2. Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right at any time to enter and remain in their State of origin.

3. The right to life of migrant workers and members of their families shall be protected by law.

4. No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

5. No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be held in slavery or servitude.

6. No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labor.

7. Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to freedom of thought conscience and religion.

8. Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

9. Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to freedom of expression.

10. No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home, correspondence or other communications, or to unlawful attacks on his or her honor and reputation. Each migrant worker and member of his or her family shall have the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks

11, No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be arbitrarily deprived of property, whether owned individually or in association with others.

12. Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to liberty and security of person.

13. Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to equality with nationals of the State concerned before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against them or of their rights and obligations in a suit of law.

14. No migrant worker or member of his or her family shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of failure to fulfil a contractual obligation.

15. Every migrant worker and every member of his or her family shall have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

16. Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to receive any medical care that is urgently required for the preservation of their life or the avoidance of irreparable harm to their health on the basis of equality of treatment with nationals of the State concerned. Such emergency medical care shall not be refused them by reason of any irregularity with regard to stay or employment.

17. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and the right to join a trade union.

18. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay

19. Each child of a migrant worker shall have the basic right of access to education on the basis of equality of treatment with nationals of the State concerned.

20. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.