“Migrants’ Rights are Human Rights” IOM Regional Director Tells Asian Human Rights Forum

Samarkand – Dignity, protection and the promotion of the human rights of all migrants, at all stages of their journeys, were stressed by IOM Regional Director Argentina Szabados at the inaugural Asian Human Rights conference which closes today (23/11) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Speaking to a group of politicians, academics, civil society leaders and diplomats, Szabados reiterated IOM’s belief of the need “to ensure respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, and – as all countries pledged through the Sustainable Development Goals – ensuring that no one is left behind.”

“We must also reaffirm our commitment to eliminate all forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia and intolerance against migrants and their families,” she said.

The event, convened by the Government of Uzbekistan, reaffirmed the commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is 70 years old this year, and its importance in the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in modern-day Asia.

Szabados congratulated the Government of Uzbekistan for submitting a request for the country to become IOM’s 173rd Member State.

“This hugely welcome development will undoubtedly strengthen Uzbekistan’s contribution to the implementation of the forthcoming Global Compact on Migration, expected to be adopted by the United Nations in Morocco next month. It will also help reinforce our joint work in favour of the rights of migrants, which forms a key part of this conference which you are so generously hosting.”

She further commended the government and the United Nations system in Uzbekistan for successfully completing a national plan on implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

On IOM’s initiative, the conference declaration contains the following line: “States shall strive to ensure the respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

For more information please contact Joe Lowry at the IOM Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Tel: +436603776404, Email: