Joint NGO Statement at 39th Session of the Human Rights Council


Refugees International joined ACT Alliance, Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), Defence for Children International, Friends World Committee for Consultation, International Catholic Migration Commission, International Detention Coalition, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), NGO Committee on Migration, Save the Children, and Terre des Hommes in co-sponsoring this joint NGO oral statement to be delivered at the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council in the General Debate on Item 2.

We welcome you High Commissioner and thank you for your strong opening statement including the human rights of migrants.

The treatment of migrants is a test of States’ commitment to the universality of rights. Examples of failure of this test, including those in the full version of your statement, are multiple and devastating. The development of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration comes from an acknowledgement that on every continent there are situations where migrants’ rights are violated and their humanity denied. The human rights foundation on which the Compact is built is a testament to continuing relevance of and commitment to the universality of the rights enshrined 70 years ago in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The next test is implementation. As we welcome the Compact we call on all States to make concrete efforts to ensure human rights based implementation at home and through their bilateral and multilateral relationships. Beginning by going to the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Compact ready to share how they will deliver on the commitments they are making and ready to work with others to do so.

High Commissioner, we call on you, your office and the human rights system as a whole, including this Council, the Special Procedures and Treaty Bodies to play a central role in supporting implementation, follow up and review of the Compact through the new UN Migration Network and international and regional migration review fora and in the existing fora and processes. We also call on you to maintain your support for effective and meaningful participation by civil society, including, crucially, by migrants themselves.

Statement delivered by Laurel Townhead (Friends World Committee for Consultation, Quaker United Nations Office, Representative, Human Rights and Refugees)