12 April 2018
The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families today discussed the efforts of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to implement the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in the absence of a report and a delegation from the State party.
Ahmadou Tall, Committee Chairperson, informed that the State party had not submitted a report under the simplified reporting procedure, nor had it sent a delegation. Saint Vincent and the Grenades had become a party to the Convention in October 2010. The list of issues had been sent to the State party in May 2016, and the State party had undergone a training to assist the country to respond to the list of issues. The Committee regretted the absence of answers and thus it believed that the State party had not honoured its obligations and had violated article 73 of the Convention, which created serious problems in the mechanism’s proper functioning. The Committee had sent several reminder notes to the State party, but had not received any information about the submission of a report. Accordingly, Mr. Tall informed that the Committee would draft its concluding observations in the absence of a report and delegation from the State party.
Jasminka Dzumhur, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, informed that the Committee had not received any information from civil society from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Nevertheless, the Committee had been able to use information from the reports that the country had submitted to the Universal Periodic Review, and to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Based on regional reports, the Committee was able to assess that some 10 per cent of the country’s population was made up of migrant workers. Migrant workers from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were mostly present in the United States and Canada. Ms. Dzumhur reminded that the State party had no national mechanism for the monitoring of human rights violations, and that it had no legislation to prevent child labour in hazardous working conditions. Available information demonstrated that people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines had to pay for education. In conclusion, Ms. Dzumhur suggested that technical assistance and capacity building be offered to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
CAN ÜNVER, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, regretted the lack of a report from the State party. He reminded that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines had approximately 100,000 inhabitants and that it was part of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In 2013, there were more than 7,000 migrants in the country, mostly from Trinidad and Tobago. The United Kingdom and the United States had accepted a substantial number of migrants from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the past, while Canada was still accepting them. Mr. Ünver expressed hope that the State party would collaborate with the Committee in the future.
An Expert inquired about some of the reasons for emigration from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, namely climate change, and the fact that education was not free of charge.
Ms. Dzumhur clarified that she had found the information about the vulnerability of the State party to climate change in the Government’s sources.
The Committee will next meet in public on Monday, 16 April, at 3 p.m. to hold a meeting with States. The meeting will take place in room XII of the Palais des Nations.
For use of the information media; not an official record