Maryam Danesh

Maryam works at the Afghanistan Independent Human Right Commission (AIHRC), an independent organisation in the Monitoring and Investigation Department.   She identifies a huge problem her people face – one that sees the deportation of millions of Afghan workers from her home country to places like Iran and Pakistan, in which subsequently they are made subject to breaches of international law.  

Her organisation bears the responsibility of monitoring the situations of such Afghan migrant workers and the burden of ensuring their rights are upheld in accordance with international human rights standards.  Her biggest struggle is against the inherent structure of her organisation itself which has no executive force to practically implement the recommendations they make – a frustratingly common example of how international law is often ignored by those in power.  But she overcomes this by placing extra pressure on government bodies and organisations to ensure their migrant workers’ rights are sufficiently protected, liaising with relevant authorities like the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of migrant affairs and working closely with the International Organisation for Migration (IMO).   

It is Maryam’s hope for the 25th Anniversary Year of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW) to be marked by an increase of those nations who have not yet ratified the CMW, but who recognise that migrant workers indeed have rights, to ratify without reservation.  For the more the support for this international law, the more the respect for it, and thus, the less chance of migrant workers’ rights abuse.    


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