Compendium of International Legal Instruments on Human Migration

This Compendium aims to provide an accessible reference for research on international law relating to human migration. It is organized to present information about a significant number of international legal instruments that affect migrants. These legal instruments are organized by topic, and within each topic, they are listed chronologically unless the instrument has been supplemented by subsequent agreements (in which case they are clustered together). The list of instruments is not exhaustive; for example, regional agreements are not included.

Many of the entries for multilateral agreements contained in this Compendium include brief summaries of the nature and terms of the agreement and how it relates to migration; as appropriate, the entry for the agreement includes short-hand references to specific provisions dealing with or relevant to migrants. These entries are not extracts from the original texts, should not be cited as such, and are meant simply to facilitate further research.

You may download the Compendium in PDF format here.



Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Convention on the Political Rights of Women

Convention Against Discrimination in Education

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Migration and Migrant Workers

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families


International Labour Law

Convention No. 97 Concerning Migration for Employment

Convention No. 143 Concerning Migrations in Abusive Conditions and the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity and Treatment of Migrant Workers

Convention No.87 Concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize

Convention No.111 Concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation

Convention No.122 Concerning Employment Policy

Convention No. 156 Concerning Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family Responsibilities

Convention No. 189 Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers


Indigenous Peoples

Convention No.169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries


International Standards Relating to Social Security

Convention No.102 Concerning Minimum Standards of Social Security

Convention No.117 Concerning Basic Aims and Standards of Social Policy

Convention No.118 Concerning Equality of Treatment of Nationals and Non-Nationals in Social Security

Convention No.157 Maintenance of Rights in Social Security


Nationality and Statelessness

Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Law

Protocol Relating to a Certain Case of Statelessness

Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons

Convention on the Nationality of Married Women

Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness


Slavery, Trafficking, Smuggling and Other Crimes

Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others

Slavery Convention

Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery

Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children


International Maritime Law

Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic


State Security

Convention on International Civil Aviation

Convention on Offenses and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

Declaration to Supplement the 1994 Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism



Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities

Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity


International Humanitarian and Refugee Law

Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Protocol to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Agreement Relating to Refugee Seamen


Annex -- Other Instruments Relating to Migration

Other Instruments Relating to Migration

  • Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals Who are Not Nationals of the Country in Which They Live
  • Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally
  • Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (World Conference on Human Rights
  • Principles on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Declaration and Plan of Action, World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance
  • Recommendation 86 Concerning Migration for Employment
  • Recommendation 100 Concerning the Protection of Migrant Workers in Underdeveloped Countries and Territories
  • Recommendation 151 Concerning Migrant Workers
  • ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • Convention 109 Concerning Wages, Hours of Work on Board Ship and Manning
  • Convention 166 Concerning Repatriation of Seafarers
  • Convention 105 Concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour
  • Convention 138 Concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
  • Convention 182 Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour
  • Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking
  • Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft
  • International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing
  • International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism
  • Declaration on Territorial Asylum
  • Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
  • General Assembly Resolution 56/164 on the Protection of and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons