Most people understand who migrant workers are. Migration is a big deal, especially in this globalization era, when migrant workers are more important to both the host and the home countries than in the past. Much more is known about the background of those who decide to leave their home countries and work overseas. Today, we cannot talk about migrant workers without also discussing all legal and social aspects surrounding the topic.
While presidential candidates in the States are debating their policy on migrant workers and how it would impact the nation, somewhere in the Philippines two girls are perhaps discussing their dreams to work as housemaids abroad and how their decisions would give benefits to their families. The interpretations of what migrant workers mean during the presidential debate and the small discussion may not differ greatly. Visitors of our website may also have similar understandings regarding the definition of migrant workers. However, in the case of official use or legal issues, certain exact definitions pertaining to migrant workers are needed to avoid confusions.
In this section, we quote some definitions of migrant workers and related terms made by the UN bodies, based on UN Convention on the issue. There are also definitions according to some countries that have not ratified the convention. We hope this section would give you a better understanding of who migrant workers are.
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, Article 2, United Nations, 18 December 1990
Recommendations on Statistics of International Migration, Revision 1, Statistical Papers, Series M, No. 58, United Nations, New York, 1998, Glossary in
European Convention On The Legal Status Of Migrant Workers, Article 1, Council of Europe, 1977
Code of Federal Regulations Pertaining to U.S. Department of Labor, Title 20, Chapter V, Part 655, U.S. Department of Labor, 1977