Principles and Guidelines on the protection of migrants in vulnerable situations

Principles and Guidelines, supported by practical guidance, on the human rights protection of migrants in vulnerable situations.

The international human rights framework that States have put in place provides protection to all persons, including to all migrants. However, the framework’s application to migrants who are in situations of vulnerability is often less clearly understood. States (and other stakeholders) therefore lack complete guidance on how to operationalize the framework in such situations.

The principles and guidelines attempt to meet this need. Download the principles here -

They provide advice to States (and other stakeholders as relevant) on how they should implement their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of migrants who are in vulnerable situations, including in the course of large or mixed movements. States are the primary duty bearer under international law.

The principles are drawn directly from international human rights law and related standards, including international labour law, as well as from international refugee law, criminal law, humanitarian law and the law of the sea, and are enshrined in treaty law, customary international law and general principles of law.

The guidelines that follow each principle elaborate international best practice and are designed to assist States (and other stakeholders where relevant) to develop, strengthen, implement and monitor measures to protect and promote the human rights of migrants in vulnerable situations. They are derived from the instruments themselves, from authoritative interpretations or recommendations by international human rights treaty bodies and special procedure mandate holders of the Human Rights Council, as well as from other expert sources.

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