Global Compact on Migration

Europe, Maghreb, Mashrek, Migration and Asylum, Press Release

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A soft take on human rights is not enough!


The Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration that is taking place in Marrakech this 10-11 December 2018 is a historic milestone, as it is the first United Nations’ document addressing all aspects of the migration phenomenon globally.

However, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and ahead of the International Migrants’ Day, EuroMed Rights warns against a non-binding approach on such crucial issue, in a context of growing attacks against migrants and people acting in solidarity with them in the Euro-Mediterranean region including in Morocco.

Commenting on the conference, EuroMed Rights President, Wadih Al-Asmar, said:

“Migration is a global reality, which no country can address on its own. It therefore requires global solutions and global responsibility sharing, based on international cooperation.

It is thus crucial that the Global Compact has the support of all UN Member States. We need a unified approach and regret that there are states declaring a reluctance to engage multilaterally on an issue that has defined our times.

It is also important to remember that the Global Compact for Migration is based on 23 objectives covering all aspects of the migration phenomenon. Each one of them includes a general commitment and a series of actions deemed as recommended instruments and good practices on migration. EuroMed Rights considers that in this regard the UN Global Compact fails to promote already existing successful examples of regional cooperation that have facilitated mobility. Leadership on this issue would have been welcome, especially by promoting free mobility regimes and the signature of the Convention on the rights of migrant workers and members of their family as one of the objectives of the compact, instead of such extensive focus on border control and border management.

On the contrary, once more, the obsession of controlling mobility may put at stake fundamental rights of migrants, notably children’s rights (objective 13) by not explicitly prohibiting their detention.

Monitoring will thus be key, which is why we call on the UN to commit to the monitoring plan described in the Global Compact and welcome the inclusion of civil society organisations, including migrants-based organisations, among the stakeholders meant to monitor and inform on the process. As the Global Compact isn’t legally binding, it is to be feared that progressist measures remain just pious vows if no leadership is taken on them.”


Background information:
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is presented as an aim to to enhance international cooperation on global standards regarding migration management and the rights of migrants.The Compact is based on the principles of shared responsibility and international cooperation, as well as on the respect to national sovereignty in the design of migration policies, the connection to the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development, the safeguarding of human rights and the protection of the most vulnerable people. Additionally, the Compact establishes an “International Migration Review Forum” as a monitoring mechanism which will meet every four years from 2022.