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Ratification of the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers

Recommendation 931 (1981)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 8 October 1981 (19th Sitting) (see Doc. 4764, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography). Text adopted by the Assembly on 8 October 1981 (19th Sitting).

The Assembly,

1 Considering that the elaboration of the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers was included in the Council of Europe's Intergovernmental Work Programme for the first time in 1966 ;
2 Noting that the preparation of the convention reached its final stage in 1977, and that the convention itself was opened for signature by the Council of Europe's member states on 24 November 1977 ;
3 Stressing that the convention seeks directly to serve the Council of Europe's aim of safeguarding and furthering human rights and fundamental freedoms, and is in keeping with the European Convention on Human Rights, and with the conventions and agreements in the social field, in particular the European Social Charter ;
4 Considering that the aim of the convention is to regulate the legal status of migrant workers with a view to improving their living and working conditions, promoting their social advancement and equality of treatment with national workers ;
5 Considering that, today, some 15 million foreign workers and their families are living in Council of Europe member states, and that this figure is rising annually because of the reunion of families and births in the host countries;
6 Noting that the convention should enter into force on the first day of the third month following the date of the deposit of the fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval ;
7 Deploring that, up to now, only four member states (Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey) have ratified the convention, and that only five other member states have signed it (Belgium, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) ;
8 Deploring also that, after fifteen years of effort on the part of several Council of Europe bodies, including the Assembly, and more than three years after the opening for signature, this convention has not yet entered into force,
9 Recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite the governments of Council of Europe member states to make a particular effort to speed up the ratification of the Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers as soon as possible.