Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration is Welcomed

The Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration was finalised by UN Member States in New York in July with all UN member states except the USA approving the draft. The agreement is a “non-legally binding, cooperative framework” to encourage “international cooperation among all relevant actors on migration, acknowledging that no state can address migration alone, and upholds the sovereignty of states and their obligations under international law.”

Civil society organizations, including the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), have largely welcomed the final document highlighting its support for community-based alternatives to child detention and the commitment to using detention of adults as a last-resort measure while working towards other options.

As well as including provisions aimed at ending child detention, the Global Compact speaks of the need to expand regular avenues for migration and measures for regularisation as a way to increase safe, orderly and regular migration while reducing vulnerabilities and the protection of migrants in situations of vulnerability, including those fleeing natural disasters, the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation.

Nevertheless some concerns remain. These include the failure to address the criminalisation of migrants and of those who provide support to them which occurs in some regions, as well as issues of access to essential services, full labor rights and freedom of association for irregular migrant workers.

The agreement will be formally adopted at a UN Member States meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, in December 2018.

 

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