Committee on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers considers report of Ecuador

24 November 2010

The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families has considered the second periodic report of Ecuador on its implementation of the provisions of the International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Presenting the report, Hernan Holguin, Sub-Secretary of the National Secretariat for Migrants of Ecuador, said that Ecuador saw migration as something completely positive for both the host country and the country of origin. He was happy to point out that there was a trend in Latin America to regularize migration and the status of migrants to allow for free movement and this was the way forward to ensure that there were no invisible borders or people. There was nothing worse than having people “disappear” or become “ghost people” because their rights were not recognized or respected. People moved to seek work, but they were persecuted and were not allowed to work or live and became ghost people because they were exploited by employers and their rights were ignored.

Due to problems on the border between Ecuador and Colombia, there were laws in place to regulate the migration flows in this mountainous region. There was trafficking in drugs, people and arms in the context of a guerrilla war that was operating very close to the Ecuadorean border. Colombia bombarded the Ecuadorean side of the border to try to attack these guerrilla forces, and as a result relations broke down between the two countries. Thus, Ecuador had to enforce a criminal records request for Colombians. The two States were now in direct bilateral talks to re-establish relations and repair the relationship between the two countries which had always enjoyed good standing. Mr. Holguin assured the Committee that the criminal records requirement was a temporary one and he was sure that as soon as the situation was worked out diplomatically this requirement would be done away with and the migration flow between the two countries would resume.

Experts raised questions numerous questions, concerning, among other things: detention centres in the country and whether migrants were held with criminals or placed in separate facilities; the status of women in the labour market; the status of children of migrants and unaccompanied minors; efforts being made to combat child labour in the country; the practical application of the right to migrate as enshrined in the constitution; social security rights for migrants; the distinction made between migrants and asylum seekers; human trafficking in the country; bilateral agreements with countries concerning migrants and their rights; deportation proceedings; and the upcoming census and questions that would be asked during the gathering of this information.

In concluding remarks, a Committee member noted concerns regarding detention centres in the country and the application of the Convention in Ecuador. The main challenge for Ecuador was as a country of destination as it had made many strides as a country of origin.

The delegation of Ecuador included representatives from the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations Office at Geneva, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the National Secretariat for Migrants, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Labour Relations.

When the Committee reconvenes at 3 p.m. this afternoon it will begin its consideration of the initial report of Senegal (CMW/C/SEN/1).

Report of Ecuador

The second periodic report of Ecuador (CMW/C/ECU/2) notes that Ecuador is a country of origin, a transit country, a destination country and a country of return for migrants. It is very difficult to compile reliable data that can be disaggregated by the characteristics and types of mobile population groups owing to the insufficiency or absence of records and the scattered distribution of those records that are available. The Government has no centralized information agency, but efforts have been made to address this situation. Data on Ecuadorians living abroad was compiled for the first time in the fourth population census and the fifth housing census of 2001, which covered the period from November 1996 to November 2001. In 2005, the Special Inter-Agency Commission on Migration Statistics in Ecuador was established, and in 2007 it developed a strictly demographic measurement of emigration. The National Secretariat for Migrants is currently working on the design of an information system. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights plans to develop human rights indicators in 2010, and the movement of persons is one of the areas to be covered. These efforts will strengthen the country’s response capacity and provide information that can be used to improve public planning.
Permanent, temporary and seasonal emigration is generally motivated by economic and employment considerations. National Secretariat for Migrants studies indicate that, as of 2007, 18 per cent of the national population, and 38 per cent of the economically active population, were emigrants. It is estimated that, as of 2008, around 2,500,000 Ecuadorians were living outside the country, mainly in the United States, Spain and Italy.
The scale of emigration from Ecuador is also reflected in the level of remittances. As of 2005, remittances totalled approximately $ 2 billion and were thus the second-largest item in the balance of payments current account, after merchandise exports ($ 10 billion).
Generally speaking, the majority of immigrants come from the bordering nations of Colombia and Peru, but the number of immigrants coming from China and Cuba is on the rise. The National Migration Directorate reports that a total of 941,800 foreigners entered Ecuador and 899,203 departed from it in 2007. In 2008, foreign arrivals totalled 991,467 and departures totalled 949,415. In the first half of 2009, 464,583 foreigners arrived and 446,468 departed. Over those three years, the percentages of men and women leaving and arriving were roughly the same, with minimal variations being recorded from year to year. Most of the people leaving the country were of working age (15–49 years). The number of foreigners entering the country tends to be greater than the number of departures.
Ecuador has become the top destination country for refugees in Latin America, and this is especially the case for Colombian refugees. This population requires international protection and special humanitarian assistance.
Presentation of Report

MAURICIO MONTALVO, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations Office at Geneva, in introductory remarks, said the delegation believed the work of this Committee was essential and completely supported the open nature of this dialogue. The high level delegation contained representatives from several governmental ministries as migration in Ecuador was a cross-cutting issue.

HERNAN HOLGUIN, Sub-Secretary of the National Secretariat for Migrants of Ecuador, in introducing the second periodic report of Ecuador, said that the State worked with civil society on an ongoing basis in order to build a migration policy that allowed Ecuador to be a leader on migration in Latin America. Ecuador had two key pillars which supported migration policy: the new Ecuadorean constitution of September 2008 which laid down the right to migrate and stipulated equality between nationals and foreigners within a human rights framework; and a global policy for migration in the twenty-first century.

There was a growing tendency in Latin America to open borders and to realize that borders were points of meeting between people and not barriers. There were walls around the world such as the wall between Mexico and the United States, which perpetuated the normal problems associated with migration. Migration was like a river, it was flowing water that could not be stopped by a wall and it was a natural behaviour. Mr. Holguin said that Ecuador saw migration as something completely positive for both the host country and the country of origin. He was happy to point out that there was a trend in Latin America to regularize migration and the status of migrants to allow for free movement and this was the way forward to ensure that there were no invisible borders or people. There was nothing worse than having people “disappear” or become “ghost people” because their rights were not recognized or respected. People moved to seek work, but they were persecuted and were not allowed to work or live and became ghost people because they were exploited by employers and their rights were ignored.

Latin American countries had come together during a forum in Mexico and shown unity on the question of migration, both regular and irregular. Human development and migration were the common responsibility of host countries and countries of origin. The Ecuadorean delegation was able to frankly tell the Committee that the State was supporting and defending the rights of migrants in Ecuador and other countries; this included foreigners who arrived in Ecuador because this was enshrined in the constitution. Latin American could be an example for the world, as it was in the aftermath of World War II when it accepted thousands of refugees from Europe.

Mr. Holguin said Ecuador was making a huge effort to ensure that the principles of the constitution were implanted on the ground. The constitution was contemporary, but there remained obsolete laws from the 1970s on the books. These laws, such as the migration law and the foreigners’ law, were formulated during a period of dictatorships and military coups. These laws had to be brought into harmony with the current domestic and international laws, but Mr. Holguin begged the Committee’s patience since this would take time. There was a bill that had just been drafted this week that was under consideration with civil society groups, and after consultations and redrafting, if this bill was passed it would overhaul all of these obsolete laws.

He went on to say that in the next week there would also be a new national census coming out that would finally provide data on migration and the Ecuadorean population. Since 1999 there had been a huge exodus of more than a million Ecuadoreans, while other migrants had come into the country from other places. Everyone was included in the census count and people could answer the census questions without fear of retribution or fear that they would be targeted because of their migration status.

Due to problems on the border between Ecuador and Colombia, there were laws in place to regulate the migration flows in this mountainous region. There was trafficking in drugs, people and arms in the context of a guerrilla war that was operating very close to the Ecuadorean border. Colombia bombarded the Ecuadorean side of the border to try to attack these guerrilla forces, and as a result relations broke down between the two countries. Thus, Ecuador had to enforce a criminal records request for Colombians. The two States were now in direct bilateral talks to re-establish relations and repair the relationship between the two countries which had always enjoyed good standing. Mr. Holguin assured the Committee that the criminal records requirement was a temporary one and he was sure that as soon as the situation was worked out diplomatically this requirement would be done away with and the migration flow between the two countries would resume.

Ecuador had taken in more than 53,000 refugees from Colombia, but there were people who had misused the refugee status to gain entry into Ecuador. There was also the recruitment of child soldiers by Colombians forces and for these reasons Ecuador had to take steps to control the flow of people across the border.

In closing, Mr. Holguin told the Committee that an effort was being made to ensure that all Ecuadoreans knew the provisions of the Convention and courses were given to Ecuadorian nationals in cities around the world to make sure that they understood their rights under international law and there was also a campaign to ensure that people in Ecuador respected migrants who came to their country and looked upon them as brothers.

Questions by Experts

The Committee member serving as the Rapporteur for the report of Ecuador noted that the State party had institutions and policies to assist with the protection of Ecuadorean nationals abroad such as the Organization for Reintegration, the fund for reintegration, educational assistance for children of returning migrants and most importantly the change in the constitution of 2008 with respect to mobility. It seemed this constitution was the first to recognize the right to migrate and to decriminalize migration and to recognize employment rights for people regardless of status. There were also many examples of care for migrants and victims of trafficking.

However, the Committee member did have some concerns as Ecuador was entering a new phase from a country of origin to a country of destination. In that regards, what was the status of immigrants in the country? Was there a comprehensive approach that took into account the country’s status as an origin, transit and destination country?

On the question of national detention centres, how many were there in Ecuador for migrant detainees and what services were offered in these centres (medical, social services, hygiene)? Were children admitted to these detention centres and were men and women separated? Were these people detained with regular criminals or were they housed in separate quarters?

What was being done to combat discrimination against migrant workers? Did the State intend to have a programme for the regularization of all migrants in the country and not just for certain nationalities? There had also been an increase in the complaints of human trafficking, but the low level of prosecutions and convictions was cause for concern. What measures were envisaged to ensure these crimes were prosecuted and perpetrators punished?

How were the labour rights of migrant workers ensured? What was being done to combat child labour and were there any specific measures for the protection of migrant children and unaccompanied minors? The Committee member also asked how migrant workers could avoid deportation and for further information on the process for deportation hearings and decisions.

Other Committee members asked whether there were policies to encourage the voluntary return of Ecuadoreans living abroad to their home country. The delegation was asked to provide clarification on the part of the periodic report that stated that no worker could be considered irregular due to their migratory status. If this was the case, then Ecuador went beyond the Convention. The report also said that migratory workers had the right to vote in Ecuador if they had been resident in the State continuously for five years. Did this include all elections or just local or federal elections?

Committee members asked for more details on the specific procedure for reparations for people who were the victims of human rights violations. Was this system open to migrant workers and members of their families? If so, were there examples of migrant workers who had used this process and received compensation under it? Was it true that the specialized body that dealt specifically with migrants was going to be abolished and its duties would be taken over by an agency that dealt with various issues, not just migrants?

While the delegation was congratulated on their vision, a Committee member noted that there was still much to be done to harmonize secondary domestic laws with the Convention. The report mentioned strategic alliances to address migration, but what exactly did this mean? The report stated that exit permits were no longer needed to leave the country, but there seemed to be a requirement that people complete military service before being allowed to leave the country. Was this true? Committee members also asked whether social security benefits were exportable or not, meaning could migrants who had worked in Ecuador and returned to their home country have access to social security benefits from Ecuador.

Committee members asked the delegation whether the State had difficulty in distinguishing between refugees and migrants and to what extent did the national strategy for human development relate to migrant workers. How was the State organizing and dealing with migrants returning to the country, many of whom had to return due to the economic crisis?

Response by Delegation

Beginning with the situation of refugees, the delegation said that the clear majority of these refugees were from Colombia due to the internal displacement caused by violence in the country between insurgents, paramilitary units and government armed forces. The status of these people was governed by the 1951 International Refugee Convention, the Cartagena Agreement and the Declaration of Mexico. Currently there were 53,000 Colombians living in Ecuador as refugees and they had been provided with refugee certificates. This was administered jointly by staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Thanks to this cooperation, it had been possible to reduce the time for the granting of refugee status from two months to within a month. Once granted refugee status, people had the same rights enjoyed by Ecuadorians. Some of the difficulties the State confronted were things like private companies not extending credit to refugees.

The Human Development Plan for Migrants took into account the right to migrate, the right to family reunion, the right to work and the right to social security; all of these comprised a series of factors the Government was responsible for protecting. Among all the South American countries that met in Bolivia, they all upheld the International Human Rights Migration Plan.

Regarding returnees, the delegation said it made a distinction between humane returnee plans and deportation plans as seen in some countries in Europe. First of all, the return had to be voluntary; the State provided all the facilities for the person to bring all of their possessions that were acquired abroad without paying importation taxes, it provided educational help for children, it incorporated returnees into the national health plan and integration into the labour market through credit for small and medium enterprises as well as outreach programs that used the training acquired by migrants while abroad. There was also a pilot programme that awarded grants to people to set up businesses. Regarding the families of migrants, provisions were made for people to return to the neighbourhoods where they used to live to repopulate those areas; this helped the individual and the country.

Follow-up Questions by Experts

The Committee member serving as Rapporteur for the report of Ecuador asked what happened to people who died while abroad. Was the Convention applied directly by the courts and could it be applied if it came into conflict with a domestic law, such as the law on foreigners? Which would take primacy? Were there any plans to offer immigration amnesty, perhaps in conjunction with neighbouring countries? The Rapporteur also asked for more information on the decree that reinstated visa requirements for Colombians, as well as any information the delegation might have on deportation proceedings that had been carried out. What needed to be done for someone who wanted to regularize their status in Ecuador?

Other Committee members asked whether migrant workers in Ecuador were entitled to social security there and what was envisaged to help remove children from child labour in the State. The report said few migrant workers were involved in trade union activities. Were migrant workers allowed to participate in trade unions? What was the practical application of the right to migrate since one had the right to leave and return to the country of origin, but not to another country of choice. So what did this right to migrate mean on a practical basis? Also, how did the transfer of social security benefits from countries, such as Spain for example, work on a practical level?

In terms of follow-up to the Committee recommendations, a Committee Expert asked what was being done to halt trafficking in human beings, whether there were statistics on people who had participated in voluntary returns and the status of women in the labour market.

Response by Delegation

Responding to questions regarding exit permits, the delegation said that military service was no longer required for exiting the country and children were not allowed to leave the country with one parent for the child’s protection. Both parents had to be present with the child to leave the country or if the child was travelling with one parent, grandparents or friends they had to have a migration certificate. This was done to protect the child.

The delegation said that in terms of social security rights, Ecuador had bilateral agreements with some countries such as Spain which allowed Ecuadoreans working abroad to have their social security benefits from the host country transferred to them in Ecuador. In terms of regularization of migrants, this was not an easy thing. The small nations of Latin America had come together to develop a coherent policy on migration law and the status of migrants. Human beings by their nature could not be illegal; migration was an administrative issue and as such it had to be a properly managed mechanism.

In terms of securing the rights guaranteed to migrants under the constitution, the delegation said that the constitution laid out the rights guaranteed to migrants and their families living inside and outside of Ecuador. If other States did not offer the same rights to Ecuadorean citizens living abroad, Ecuador could use diplomatic relations to address those issues.

The census would be held in Ecuador on 28 November 2010 and it would contain questions on remittances and migration which would enable the Government to devise policy based on the latest data. The State was also coordinating an online system that would offer an integrated database on migration issues, but the privacy of people would be protected to ensure that the rights of migrants were observed. This data would also help in terms of border control and information gathered there on migration flows. In terms of child labour, the delegation said that hopefully the population census would provide realistic data that was as accurate as possible. The State had tried to eradicate this problem through education and programmes to fight poverty.

Committee members had asked whether regularization applied to all nationalities and the delegation said that the aim was to ensure that there were no people on Ecuadorean territory with an irregular status. They started from the premise that everyone should have citizens’ rights and a migration policy was key in this regard. Colombians and Peruvians made up between 95 and 98 per cent of irregular migrants in Ecuador, so the State had worked out agreements with Peru to regularize these migrants and the same was true in Peru of Ecuadorean migrants. Negotiations with Colombia for a similar agreement were underway and going well. Before an agreement could be reached however, the States had to work out the situation of the 53,000 Colombian refugees who were currently on Ecuadorean territory; after that it would turn its attention to establishing permanent migratory status for Colombians. After these two items were completed, 98 per cent of people with irregular status in Ecuador would be regularized and then the State could deal with the remaining 2 per cent of people from other countries whose status remained irregular.

The delegation said that the Human Mobility Act was being studied within a human rights framework and they were looking at the practices of countries such as Uruguay for models and best practices. They would then hold a debate with civil society and then the paper would be submitted to parliament which would then lead to implementation of the law. These new laws would replace the obsolete laws that were left over from the military dictatorships of the 1970s.

Turning to conflicts between the Convention and Ecuadorean domestic law, the delegation said that the constitution clearly stated that international treaty law was supreme over any domestic law, including the constitution. In the case that there was a conflict between various laws, the constitutional court, judges, administrative authorities and other civil servants would resolve the conflict by applying the hierarchy of laws with the superiority of international treaties being recognized. The constitution also stipulated that any international treaties that were ratified were to be applied directly and immediately without the elaboration of a secondary or national law to bring them into force.

The delegation then addressed questions surrounding the right to social security. Delegation members said that the social security system was universal and included everyone without discrimination, including independent workers and salaried workers. In case of deportation, there were contributions from the State which added to social security benefits in case of retirement and these would be transferred to the country where the migrant was sent because these rights were inalienable and workers could not be deprived of them.

People who were victims of human trafficking were not deported and they could be eligible for reparations. There were also various categories of trafficking in children and the State tried to avoid impunity despite delays in the legal system. The Government had invested a great deal to strengthen the justice system.

People who were being held for expulsion were housed in temporary units which were not detention centres. Men and women were not separated and the protocol used by the Ministry of the Interior tried to ensure that deportation procedures went smoothly and quickly.

With regards to combating child labour, the delegation said that there were labour inspectors tasked with enforcing child labour laws and finding places where children were employed and stopping the practices. Child labour was banned for children under 15 years of age and was only allowed for children over 15 who met certain conditions such as working less than 6 hours a day, not working on holidays or weekends, and only working in certain industries. The State had focused on rescuing children in particular sectors such as rural and agricultural fields, casinos and other places of gambling, mines and domestic work. It was important that children stayed in school and got an education and were not employed in dangerous occupations. The State was also working with other countries, such as Brazil, to eradicate the scourge of child labour as well as the movement of children across borders for the purpose of labour.

In terms of refugees and asylum seekers, the delegation said that due to the influx of refugees from Colombia, the State had to step up its processing of refugee applications and with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees they cut the application time from two months to a few days in order to expedite the delivery of refugee cards to people. In a report out from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, it listed this expanded registry that had been undertaken in Ecuador as a good practice and a great success.

Ecuadorean citizens abroad could vote for national assembly candidates. Foreigners were allowed to vote in Ecuador if they had been resident in the State for at least five years. The influence of this vote on foreign policy meant that the Government had to take into account globalization and the contributions of these immigrant groups to the society. In terms of returnees and how this was organized, Ecuador had a voluntary programme called “Welcome Home” which was dignified and planned. There were incentives for Ecuadoreans who had been living abroad to come back definitively. The Ecuadorean recognized that returning citizens brought a significant contribution to the country because they brought with them new ideas and technologies. The Government helped them return by shipping all their personal goods, including cars and any equipment for small and medium enterprises and there were further incentives and assistance if returnees set up a small or medium enterprise in Ecuador upon their return. This was very different from European countries who listed their programmes as voluntary returns when in fact these migrants were coerced into returning to their countries of origin.

A series of guarantees were afforded to people subject to deportation proceedings including the right of appeal, the right to due process and a fair trial, and the ombudsman was responsible for the protection of the rights of all people living in Ecuador including the migrant population. Migrants could acquire property with the exception of two cases: in national security areas in Ecuador in border areas for security reasons and in protected areas such as ancestral areas and indigenous communities. Foreigners could also join trade unions because there was a right in the constitution for freedom of association. There was also a guarantee of the right to organize.

In terms of the protection of domestic workers, the delegation noted that labour inspections were carried out to ensure compliance with the Labour Code and contracts were also in place to guarantee the rights and earnings of domestic workers as well as their working conditions. There were also educational campaigns to inform workers of their rights as well as their obligations. There was no distinction made between nationals and foreigners in this regard. There was also impetus behind the idea of developing an international labour convention concerning domestic migrant workers.

In answering a series of other questions that were put to the delegation, they said that regarding a massacre of migrants in Mexico, 2 of the 72 migrants who were killed were identified as Ecuadorean and were brought back to the country for burial. According to the constitution, no distinction was made between regular and irregular migrants. The delegation said a strategic alliance was needed between Latin American countries to negotiate with North America and Europe regarding migration policies. The plan of development for migrants was a comprehensive policy that made it possible to provide rights and access to personal human development for Ecuadoreans abroad as well as migrants from other countries living in Ecuador.

In terms of police brutality or ill treatment of migrants, the delegation told the Committee that anyone who felt their rights had been violated could file a case in court and was entitled to reparations. To date 40,000 national police had been educated on human rights and there was a manual distributed to all of them regarding human rights and detailing their obligations and they were expected to be familiar with its contents and to apply them in their work. This was also required of border police who were more likely to interact with migrants and it was just as important, if not more so, that they were aware of human rights and applied this framework to their activities.

Follow-up Questions by Experts

A Committee member asked about efforts made to combat human trafficking. The delegation was also asked about detention centres in the country and what was meant when the delegation said these were temporary units. How long could someone be held in one of these temporary centres and what services were available to these people when they were held in these facilities? If someone was deported to Cuba, how did the State ensure that this person was not left in a legal vacuum because Cuban returnees sometimes had trouble returning to their home country if they had been absent more than 11 months? If someone entered the country illegally twice, which law would apply: domestic law or treaty law? The Convention did not see this as illegal, but domestic legislation did say that someone caught entering illegally twice would be expelled immediately.

A Committee member commented that using the word export in relation to migrant workers equated them with a commodity such as bananas or pianos and did not afford them the dignity and respect they deserved. One had to be careful in using this language. The Expert asked whether the State had found it difficult to protect their citizens in countries that were not signatories to this Convention. Could the State stop people from going to countries to seek work where their rights would not be recognized or it would be difficult to protect their rights?

Another Committee Expert said that most judges tended to apply domestic law over international treaty law and this happened in countries all over the world. Consequently, an effort should be made to teach judges about the legal texts and to respect the hierarchy of laws.

Response by Delegation

The delegation apologized for the use of the word export in relation to migrant workers and said that Ecuador had decried the use of this word in other fora and it regretted its use here and apologized for this lapse.

In terms of emigration from Ecuador, people could move anywhere they wanted, all they had to do was plan their move and leave. However, the State was confronted with the factual reality that not all places were safe and so the State did provide information to people so that they were aware of the risks they ran when emigrating and the problems they might encounter. The Government also offered protection in the form of consular services in various countries.

With regard to the protection of women and girls in the border area near Colombia, this could be a dangerous area where there was drug and arms trafficking and clandestine migration. It was very difficult to control this area, including trafficking in children and women.

The delegation said that a great deal of importance was attached to bilateral contacts in the case of migration to and from Cuba. If a Cuban left for more than 11 months he lost his property and the right to certain social services. If Cubans left they had the obligation to return before 11 months had elapsed. Peruvians were given priority in terms of regularization because there were negotiated conventions concerning this and they were negotiating similar agreements with Colombia.

Regarding the temporary detainment centres, the National Secretariat for Migration oversaw their health, hygiene and food and because these facilities were meant to be temporary there were no separate centres for men and women although they were held in different areas. The delegation said that regarding children who were victims of trafficking, the upcoming census contained a question that sought to ascertain the nationalities of all children in the country to have better numbers on that question.

The delegation agreed that there was often a delay between legal training and legal reality and while they did not have data at hand on the application of international treaty law in the country’s courts, the application and respect of these treaties was immediate and one could not claim ignorance of these treaties to deny recognition of these rights.

Concluding Remarks

ANA ELIZABETH CUBIAS MEDINA, Committee Member, in concluding remarks thanked the delegation for the information given on their efforts to improve the conditions of migrant workers in Ecuador. She wanted to stress her concern regarding detention centres in the country and the application of the Convention in the country. The main challenge for Ecuador was as a country of destination as they had made many strides as a country of origin.

ABDELHAMID EL JAMRI, Committee Chairperson, encouraged Ecuador to continue its dialogue with neighbouring countries and other efforts to improve the lives of migrant workers and their families. He wished the delegation a safe trip back to Ecuador.

HERNAN HOLGUIN, Sub-Secretary of the National Secretariat for Migrants of Ecuador, thanked the Committee for its warm hospitality and he was convinced when Ecuador delivered its third report it would have achieved a great deal of progress. He said they were all migrants.

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