A public online interactive dialogue marking the launch of General Comment No. 5 (2021) by the Committee on Migrant Workers

The Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) currently holds its 33rd session from 27 September to 8 October 2021, during which it will host a public online event to launch itsGeneral Comment No. 5 (2021) on migrants’ rights to liberty, freedom from arbitrary detention and their connection with other human rights on Thursday, 7 October 2021, from 3 to 5pm. The advance unedited version of General Comment No. 5 (2021) is available in English on the web page of the Committee here.

The Committee on Migrant Workers’ General Comment No. 5 (2021) provides authoritative interpretation of articles 16 and 17 and other articles of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in the context of the rising trend towards criminalization of migration and increasingly frequent use of detention of migrants.

General Comment No. 5 (2021) intends to provide guidance to States on fulfilling their obligations under the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families in relation to the right to liberty and protection against arbitrary detention, and other intersecting human rights obligations and other human rights obligations arising from the intersection of those rights with other human rights. The general comment is also aimed at providing guidance to States on the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and to other stakeholders on implementing initiatives to promote and protect human rights and to monitor compliance thereof.

It is the result of a participatory and inclusive process, which involved soliciting input and comments from multiple stakeholders, including from international human rights mechanisms, for which it expresses its profound gratitude. It has been developed and adopted out of deep concern about the rising trend towards the criminalization of migration and the increasingly frequent use of detention of migrants across several regions of the world.  

In an interactive format, the Committee will hold a panel conversation with former immigration detainees; present the key concerns, main findings and recommendations of the general comment No. 5; and a have a panel discussion with States representatives, national human rights institutions, civil society and international academia experts.

The event will be divided into five main parts:

1st Part | Introduction and welcoming remarks: 3:00 to 3:15 pm

2nd Part | Panel conversation with former immigration detainees: 3:15 to 3:45 pm

3rd Part | Presentation by Committee members of the key concerns, main findings and recommendations of General Comment No. 5 (2021): 3:45 to 4:15 pm

4th Part | Panel discussion with international experts: 4:15 to 4:45 pm

5th Part | Wrap-up and closing remarks: 4:45 to 5:00 pm

More information, including the programme of the launch event for General Comment No. 5 (2021), will soon become available on this webpage.

The online interactive dialogue has been publicly webcast on UN Web TV:

Should you intend to take the floor during the launch event, please kindly register by e-mail with Ms. Isabelle Fleche, Programme Assistant, at and, in order to obtain a connection link. Otherwise we would kindly ask you to follow the launch event on public webcast on UN Web TV:

For any clarification, please contact Mr. Idrissa Kane, Secretary of the Committee, at, or Mr. Nikolaus Schultz, Human Rights Officer, at


Country information
Meetings and deadlines

Fact Sheet No.24
Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Migration, human rights and governance - Handbook for Parliamentarians N° 24
English | French | Spanish

Situations of migrants in transit
English | French | Spanish

OHCHR’s recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders
English | French | Spanish

Behind Closed Doors - Protecting and promoting the human rights of migrant domestic workers in an irregular situation

Shining new light on the UN Migrant Workers Convention (Alan Desmond, 2018)

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