Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the USA, Prasad Kariyawasam, who has been a member of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers since its inception in March 2004, and the first Chair of the Committee , was re-elected for the fourth time at the Election held at the UN in New York on 28 June 2017, at the 8th Meeting of State Parties to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.
The 51 States Parties to the Convention voted yesterday to select 7 members to the Committee, out of 11 candidates, for the period 2018-2021. The 11 candidates were from Albania, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Mali, Niger, Philippines, Senegal and Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s candidate, Prasad Kariyawasam, was re-elected, securing the third highest number of votes, along with candidates from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Senegal, and Niger.
The UN Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW), consisting of a total of 14 elected members, as its main responsibility, monitors the implementation of the Convention, which is the most comprehensive international instrument that deals with the rights of migrant workers. The Convention which came into force in 2003, is an important component of the core international human rights treaties in the UN Human Rights Treaty System.
Ambassador Kariyawasam’s re-election to the Committee for successive terms signifies the endorsement by the States Parties of his competence and contribution to the work of the Committee in promoting the human rights of migrant workers, and recognition of Sri Lanka’s role in this regard as well, on the international stage.
Today, migrant workers account for a substantial component of the world’s approximately 250 million international migrants. Migrant workers around the world make a significant contribution to the growth and development of their countries of destination, and also to the improvement of the economies of their countries of origin through remittances. However, migrant workers are often vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking. The Convention seeks to prevent and eliminate the exploitation of migrant workers throughout the migration process and promote a rights based approach to migration with a view to protecting the rights of migrant workers and members of their families.