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Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons. Extract of the Decisions of the Second Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations Interested in Migration

Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons. Extract of the Decisions of the Second Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations Interested in Migration

9 July 1951


Dual Distribution


held in Geneva, 16-22 March 1951, under the auspices of the United Nations and of the International Labour Office

Statement submitted by the INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CHILD WELFARE, a non-governmental organization in consultative relationship with the Economic and Social Council

The Executive Secretary has received the following statement which is circulated in accordance with rule 27 of the Rules of Procedure of the Conference.

Submitted: 9 July 1951
Received: 9 July 1951

based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


CONSIDERING that for social, economic or political reasons, many people leave their country of origin or of residence,

CONSIDERING that at the present time migrants are faced with difficulties particularly of a legal, political, economic and administrative nature preventing their freedom of emigration, immigration and resettlement,

CONSIDERING that "the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family" must likewise be recognised in the case of migrants,

DRAWS ATTENTION TO the United Nations Charter which lays on Member States the duty of "promoting universal respect for, and observance of, human rights,"

DRAWS ATTENTION TO the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948, several articles of which are of paramount importance for the welfare of migrants (in particular, Articles 2,6,7,13,14,15,16,22,23,25)

URGES all individuals and all organs of Society, in a spirit of understanding and broad human solidarity, bearing in mind everywhere and in all circumstances the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to observe the following principles in the field of protection of migrants:

I The right to leave any country, including his own" being internationally recognized for all human beings, this right shall not be limited by political considerations or legal or administrative provisions, or impeded by prohibitive charges or confiscatory measures.

II All States shall frame and interpret their legislation in a truly liberal spirit and without regard to reciprocity, with a view to facilitating the departure, transit, admission, freedom of residence and settlement of migrants.

III Migratory movements, in view of their of their international repercussions, should be planned and carried out rationally in conformity with the common interest of migrants and States alike, through the broadest collaboration of countries and public and private international bodies.

IV Every Migrant shall be entitled to receive, free of all charge, complete and unbiased information regarding the conditions of life and work likely to influence his free choice in migrating. He should be protected again his all misleading propaganda in this field.

V THE MIGRANT who is obliged to have recourse to the right of asylum shall also be entitled to special protection appropriate to his special status, both by the State granting asylum and by all States.

VI There shall be no discrimination, de facto or de jure, against a migrant for reasons such as race, religion, political opinions, financial means, country of origin of status as an alien.

VII Every migrant shall have the right in the receiving country to treatment on less favourable than that granted to nationals of that country, especially in all social, educational and religious matters, as well as in the sphere of civil rights.

VIII Every migrant shall have the right to do work in accordance with his abilities and within the limits of the laws which apply to the population generally. He shall be entitled to all rights enjoyed by workers who are nationals of the country as regards conditions of employment, wages, freedom of trade union, affiliation, public assistance and social security.

IX Every migrant, although he should endeavour to become part of the new community, shall be free to retain his cultural and religious heritage so as to stimulate the exchange of those spiritual values which are the common heritage of mankind. He shall be entitled to the free use of his mother tongue and, if need be, to the services of an interpreter.

X Every migrant shall have the benefit of suitable assistance during the period of his adjustment to living conditions in the country of settlement.

XI Every migrant shall be allowed to acquire citizenship of the country of settlement after a reasonable period of residence in such country.

XII No migrant, once admitted into a country, shall be expelled, deported or otherwise removed therefrom, unless such a measure is justified on grounds of public security and imposed by due process of law. Indigence, sickness, or unemployment shall in no circumstances be regarded as sufficient grounds for such removal. Persons entitled to invoke the right of asylum shall not be expelled or sent back to a territory where their lives or liberty would de in danger.

XIII Since the family is "the natural and fundamental unit of society", it shall be protected and migrants shall have the right to preserve its unity. The measures necessary to preserve that unity must be guaranteed. When the head of a family satisfies the necessary conditions for admission to a country, his dependents shall thereby become eligible for admission.

XIV The rights granted to a migrant shall extend to the members of his family.

XV Special measures shall be taken for the protection of migrant minors, particularly of parentless children and young girls, especially in the matter of guardianship and adoption.

XVI Every migrant shall be entitled at all stages of emigration and settlement to the moral legal and material assistance of voluntary societies. States and inter-governmental organizations shall encourage and support the efforts of such organizations in every possible way.

XVII Every migrant shall bear in mind that all these rights all these rights imply a corresponding series of duties to the new community which receives him.


.. IV. The Conference advocates that the eligibility of refugees coming under the high Commissioner's mandate should, in the final instance, be determined by the High Commissioner or an inter-Governmental body assisting him, and that arrangements be made to that end by the inclusion of appropriate clauses in the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees or by other suitable means..

The Conference also advocates the adoption of a similar procedure for determining whether particular individuals are entitled to enjoy the right of asylum.


The Conference expresses the wish that the Draft Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Draft Protocol relating to the Status of Stateless Persons be adopted at an early date and that thereafter these instruments be ratified by as many States as possible.

List of Non-Governmental Organizations Represented at the 2nd Conference/Liste des Organisations non-gouvernementales representées à la deuxième conference

Agudas Israel world Organization (Organisation Mondiale Agudas Israel)
Aid Suisse à l'Europe
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Australian Council for International social service
Caritas Internationalis
Catholic International Union of Social Service
Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (Comité des Eglises pour les Affaires internationales)
Comité Israelita de Socorros
Co-ordinating Board of Jewish Organizations for Consultation with ECOSOC
(Comité de Coordination d'Organisations juives chargé des consultations avec le Conseil économique et social des Nations Unies)
Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations (Conseil consultatif d'Organisations juives)
International Bureau for the Unification of Penal Law (Association Internationale de droit pénal)
International Catholic Girls society (Association Catholique internationale des oeuvres de protection de la jeune fille)
International Catholic Migration Commission
International Committee of the Red Cross (Comité international de la Croix-Rouge)
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (Confédération internationale des syndicats libres)
International Co-operative Alliance (Alliance coopérative internationale)
International Council of Women (Conseil international des Femmes)
International Federation of Christian Trade Unions (Confédération internationale des syndicats chrétiens)
International Federation of Friends of Young Women (Fédération internationale des Amies de la jeune fille)
International Federation of University Women (Fédération internationale des Femmes diplômées des Universités)
International League for the Rights of Man (Ligue internationale des droits de l'homme)
International Legal Assistance
International Relief Committee for Intellectual workers (Comité international d'aide aux intellectuels)
International Rescue Committee
International Social Service
International Union of Catholic Women's Leagues (Union internationale des Ligues féminines catholiques)
International Union for Children Welfare
Inter-Parliamentary Union (Union interparlementaire)
League of Red Cross Societies (Ligue des sociétés de la Croix-Rouge)
Pax Romana
Salvation Army (Armée du Salut)
Union OSE
United Service For New Americans
War Relief Services ? National Catholic Welfare Conference
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Ligue Internationale des Femmes pour la Paix et la Liberté)
World's Alliance of Y.M.C.A. (Alliance universelle des Unions chrétiennes de jeunes gens)
World Federation of Trade Unions (Fédération syndicale mondiale des Associations pour les Nations Unies)
World Jewish Congress (Congrès juif mondial)
World Federation of United Nations Associations
World Jewish Congress
World's Young Women's Christian Association (Alliance universelle des Unions chrétiennes de jeunes filles)