The main obstacles to ratification of the ICRMW revolve around the following issues (UNESCO 2003):
- In some States where migration is limited on their territory, the Governments do not see a need to legislate.
- The Convention is not well known and therefore not high on the political agenda.
- Some States lack the necessary infrastructure to apply the Convention.
- Some States do not wish international agreements to interfere with their migration policies which they view as a strictly national affair.
- Economic instability and high unemployment prompt states to give preference to national over foreign workers.
- Concerns regarding the need to extend protection to members of migrants’ families.
- States do not wish to extend protection to undocumented migrants.
- Concerns that ratification would send out a signal to potential migrants and spur immigration.