What is the Global Compact on Migration?

Keywords : Human and trade union rights Migration

On September 19th last year, 193 UN Member States came together in New York at a high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants. They adopted The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants which “recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level.” The Declaration “set in motion a process of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations culminating in the planned adoption of the global compact on migration at an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018.”

How will this take place? There is a commitment to develop The Global Compact through “an open, transparent and inclusive process of consultations and negotiations and the effective participation of all relevant stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, academic institutions, parliaments, diaspora communities, and migrant organizations in both the intergovernmental conference and its preparatory process.”

Africa, the Global Compact and Civil Society If your organization works on migration and refugees matters and is interested in policy advocacy, join Africa Moves as CSOs prepare for an Africa Region Consultation gets underway.

The “U.N. ‘Global Compact’ May Prove Regressive for Africa’s Migrants” can be read here in its entirety. Briefly, it states the impetus for the UN Summit and global attention is due to the “Syrian refugee crisis, particularly its effects on Europe…..What might work politically for Europe may well come down on the backs of migrants and refugees across Africa and elsewhere.” It goes further to state that “two things will likely worsen conditions for people trying to cross Africa’s borders, including refugees. First, Europe will – as it has been for the past decade – further externalize its migration controls to prevent people reaching its territory. Second, it will build diplomatic support for a control-based policy. Together, these measures will support efforts to prevent movement within the continent – particularly movements that might end up in Europe. Combined with broader efforts to counter terrorism along with human and narcotics trafficking, Europe will continue to provide material and technical assistance in strengthening border agencies. But such efforts will do little to prevent cross-border movements.”

On the role and Involvement of Civil Society - RD concludes “Without strong civil society capacity to observe borderline rights abuses and the subsequent exploitation, corrupt public officials and criminal gangs will largely have free rein to seek “rents” from the most desperate migrants. Perhaps more importantly, by selling African states on a “strong borders” model, the most influential actors at the summit will weaken African countries’ ability to advocate for more lenient policies emanating from Europe.”

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