Does anyone care about migrant rights? An analysis of why countries enter the convention on the rights of migrant workers and their families

Shaina D. Western*, Sarah P. Lockhart, Jeannette Money

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers (CRMW) is a ‘core’ human rights treaty, it is poorly ratified. Previous studies have elucidated the barriers to ratification; in this article we focus on the factors that generate incentives to ratify. We argue that states that ratify this treaty desire to strengthen their relationships with their own emigrants and their citizens at home who advocate for emigrant protections, not to protect the rights of immigrants residing in their own country. The political incentives to strengthen this relationship depend on the costs and benefits that inward migration and outward migration bring to the state. The benefits of emigration are captured by the size of remittance flows, the net immigration position of the country, and by the ratio of unskilled to skilled emigrants, whereas the costs are reflected in the size of the immigrant stock. When the benefits of migration are substantial and the costs of potentially providing rights are small, states will be more likely to ratify this agreement. These determinants are distinctive from the explanations proffered for other human rights treaties. Our statistical analysis is consistent with the theoretical arguments that we make.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1276-1299
Number of pages24
JournalThe International Journal of Human Rights
Volume23
Issue number8
Early online date29 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • human rights
  • migrant rights
  • treaty ramification

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Does anyone care about migrant rights? An analysis of why countries enter the convention on the rights of migrant workers and their families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this