Blog post written by Elspeth Guild (Queen Mary University of London) and Tugba Basaran (University of Cambridge), the editors of this series of blog posts analysing the final draft (objective by objective) of the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. A French translation of this blog is available on the Plateforme Nationale Protection Migrants (PNPM) website.

The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 September 2016, initiated a process towards two Compacts: the Global Compact for Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The Compacts are non-binding cooperative frameworks which lay out a set of principles, objectives and partnerships for the governance of refugees and migration. This commentary will focus on the Global Compact on Migration, the first intergovernmental cooperative framework on migration, negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations.

We shared, together with a number of academics and practitioners, some initial thoughts on the Zero Draft of the Global Compact for Migration (5 February 2018) in a provisional document entitled “First Perspectives on the Zero Draft” February 2018. Since then the Zero Draft has been modified a number of times during the intergovernmental negotiations (Zero Draft Plus on 5 March 2018, Revision 1 on 26 March 2018, Revision 2 on 28 May 2018, Revision 3 on 29 June 2018, and the resulting Final Draft on 11 July 2018).

In this commentary, we will provide a detailed analysis of the final document, the “Intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” (13 July 2018), submitted for adoption to the  Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (to be held on 10 – 11 December 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco). Every objective of the Global Compact for Migration will be examined in view of human rights obligations and state practices. The contributors will provide for each of the GCM’s objectives a critical assessment, highlight significant changes during the negotiations, and underline future aspirations.

The commentaries seek to provide scholars, practitioners and policy-makers alike with accessible substantive analyses in the lead up to the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration at the end of 2018. This is particularly significant given the politically charged withdrawals of support from the GCM, namely the USA in December 2017 and Hungary in July 2018. The commentaries will be posted on this blog over the course of the next weeks, objective by objective.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

  1. Collect and utilize accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies
  2. Minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin
  3. Provide accurate and timely information at all stages of migration
  4. Ensure that all migrants have proof of legal identity and adequate documentation
  5. Enhance availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration
  6. Facilitate fair and ethical recruitment and safeguard conditions that ensure decent work
  7. Address and reduce vulnerabilities in migration
  8. Save lives and establish coordinated international efforts on missing migrants
  9. Strengthen the transnational response to smuggling of migrants
  10. Prevent, combat and eradicate trafficking in persons in the context of international migration
  11. Manage borders in an integrated, secure and coordinated manner
  12. Strengthen certainty and predictability in migration procedures for appropriate screening, assessment and referral
  13. Use migration detention only as a measure of last resort and work towards alternatives
  14. Enhance consular protection, assistance and cooperation throughout the migration cycle
  15. Provide access to basic services for migrants
  16. Empower migrants and societies to realize full inclusion and social cohesion
  17. Eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote evidence-based public discourse to shape perceptions of migration
  18. Invest in skills development and facilitate mutual recognition of skills, qualifications and competences
  19. Create conditions for migrants and diasporas to fully contribute to sustainable development in all countries
  20. Promote faster, safer and cheaper transfer of remittances and foster financial inclusion of migrants
  21. Cooperate in facilitating safe and dignified return and readmission, as well as sustainable reintegration
  22. Establish mechanisms for the portability of social security entitlements and earned benefits
  23. Strengthen international cooperation and global partnerships for safe, orderly and regular migration

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author/s and do not necessarily reflect those of the Refugee Law InitiativeWe welcome comments and contributions to this blog – please comment below and see here for contribution guidelines.