Joint Civil Society Message to UN Member States at the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration

Thank you for giving us the floor, moderator.

This is a civil society collective message. We are connected and have organized in this process and throughout Migration Week: we are unified in our diversity to ensure the Global Compact fosters real change for migrants and their families.

The adoption of the Compact is a historic achievement, as it represents a comprehensive framework for multilateral cooperation on international migration. It has the real potential to make a positive impact on the lives of millions of our fellow human beings who move in search of a life of dignity and security for themselves and their families.

We would like to commend the overwhelming number of member states that commit to the adoption of the Compact. The Compact will not meet its potential—or make a difference on the ground—unless member states also commit to its implementation and acknowledge the positive contribution of migrants to society. We stand ready to partner with you in this endeavor and respectfully urge you to develop national action plans with full participation of other actors including civil society and migrants of today and tomorrow.

We are disappointed that some member states have chosen to withdraw from the Compact: multilateral cooperation is the best approach for humanely managing international migration in today’s world.

As made clear in its preamble, the Compact does not in any way weaken international legal standards, which govern migration. We also view the Compact as not condoning deterrence policies, which can limit due process protections and can violate the principle of non-refoulement. We will monitor the actions of member states accordingly.

However, as we expressed in a joint civil society statement at the end of the negotiations in July, we have concerns with some of the language contained in the Compact. We therefore encourage member states to interpret the spirit and substance of the Compact as a floor, not a ceiling, as you implement its provisions.

That said, in our collective view, the Compact recommends, among others, the following policy goals, which we encourage you to robustly implement:

  • Protect migrants in vulnerable situations consistent with international human rights law;
  • Increase regular avenues for migration which ensure labor rights and family unity and create regularization programs for vulnerable populations;
  • Facilitate safe access to services to all migrants;
  • Work to end child detention; develop and expand community-based alternatives to detention and end the use of detention as a deterrence tactic;
  • Uphold the principle of the best interest of the child at all times
  • Invest in sustainable development so that no one has to migrate out of desperation.
  • Tackle the drivers of forced migration, including climate change and environmental degradation.
  • Apply due process, individual assessment, and effective remedy at borders and in return procedures and implement reintegration programs that are sustainable for returnees, families and their communities;
  • Guarantee the core labour rights for all migrant workers regardless of status, with special attention on freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Ensure gender responsive policies; and promote the empowerment of women to realize their full potential;

In conclusion, as actors who work directly with migrants on the ground, we look forward to working with member states and other stakeholders to implement the Compact in a manner that guarantees the human rights of all migrants and upholds the rule of law.

We again congratulate you on this achievement and stand in solidarity with those that commit to make migration work for all.

Thank you. 

Signatories (As of December 10, 2018)

1. ACT Alliance
2. Action for Equality, Support & Antiracism (KISA)
3. Action Secours Ambulance (ASA)
4. Agricultural Missions, Inc
5. Aid Organization
6. Alianza Americas
7. Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation
8. Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)
10. Association EnZO
11. Association interculturelle kirikou
12. Association Nigérienne des Scouts de l’Environnement (ANSEN)
13. Association Tous pour l’Integration des Migrants au Maroc , ATIMA
14. Bischöfliches Hilfswerk MISEREOR e.V.
15. Bread for the World (Germany)
16. Campaign for Government of International Unity in Africa
17. Caritas International
18. Casa Generalizia della Societa del Sacro Cuore
19. Casa Monarca Humanitarian Aid for Migrants
20. Center for Migrant Advocacy Philippines (CMA)
21. Centre for Youths Integrated Development (CYID)
23. Coalition of the Flemish North South Movement
24. Collectif des communautés subsaharienne au Maroc CCSM
25. Comision Argentina para Refugiados y Migrantes – CAREF
26. Community Development Services (CDS)
27. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
28. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
30. Cross Regional Center for Refugees and Migrants (CCRM)
31. FAIRWORK Belgium
32. Federacion Zacatecana A.C.
33. Federatie van Somalian Association in Netherlands
34. Federazione organismi cristiani volontariato internazionale (FOCSIV)
36. Fundacja Instytut na rzecz Państwa Prawa
37. German-Moroccan Network of Competencie (DMK)
38. Gewerkschaft UNIA, Switzerland
39. Global Coalition on Migration
40. Global Peace and Development Organization
41. Grupo de mujeres de la argentina – foro de VIH Mujeres y familia
42. GSEA
43. HEKS/EPER Swiss Church Aid
44. Hope Border Institute/Instituto Fronterizo Esperanza
45. Humanitarian organisation “Icumbi”
46. I.F.R.B.P.
47. IMA (International Migrant Alliance) Research Foundation
48. Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary -Loreto Generalate
49. Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary-Loreto Generalate
50. International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
51. International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
52. International Council of Psychologists
53. International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA)
54. International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA)
55. International Detention Coalition (IDC)
56. International Institute for Human Rights, Environment and Development (INHURED International)
57. International Presentation Association
58. Joint Committee with Migrants in Korea (JCMK)
59. JRS Australia
60. MAP (Migrant Assistance Program) Foundation
61. Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic,Inc./Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
62. Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)
63. Migration Heute (MH) e.V
64. Mixed Migration Centre
65. Mouvement d’Action pour le Renouveau Social (MARS)
66. National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)
67. National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
68. National Network for Immigrant and Refugees Rights
69. NGO Committee on Migration
70. OCASI-Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
71. One Third
72. ONG Un Monde Avenir, 1MA
73. Our Journey, Malaysia
74. Outreach Social Care Project- OSCAR 75. Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organization
76. People Forum for Human Rights
78. Refugees International
79. Regional Center for International Development Cooperation (RCIDC)
80. SAVE THE CLIMATE 81. Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN)
82. South Texas Human Rights Center
83. Streevani
84. Terre des Hommes
85. Terre des Hommes International Federation
86. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
87. UN Major Group for Children and Youth
88. United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society (UMC-GBCS)
89. Verité
90. VIVAT International
91. Women in Migration Network
92. World Organization for Early Childhood Education