Migrant rights

Last updated on 5 May 2022

Under international law, migrants have human rights by virtue of their humanity. International customary law and international human rights instruments are of universal application and therefore set States duties and rights of migrants. There are various other international instruments that specifically  address the protection of migrants and their rights. In addition, recent attention has been drawn to the obligations of States, under international human rights law, towards dead and missing migrants and their families (Grant, 2016). 

Migrants access to rights may be evaluated by measuring the rights granted to migrants in principle and in practice. The former is relatively straightforward and looks at international and regional treaty ratifications by States and their national law to respect, protect and fulfil migrants’ rights, while the latter requires looking at the implementation of rights, or if migrants’ rights are actually upheld and exercised. Measuring the rights granted to migrants and their effective access in practice is limited by a lack of data, information, resources, and the large number of rights requiring evaluation.  

Data Innovation Directory
Data Innovation Logo
Learn more
Infographic