Date of Meeting: 8-9 May 2017

Meeting Organizer: HR ONU

ISJC Staff Present: Christine Volet-Sterckx

Reporter: Christine Volet-Sterckx

Which SDG does this topic cover? 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 16

Type of meeting: Exchange on thematic for the preparation of the global compact

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Approach: Three panels, contribution of delegates, résumé presented at the 4th meeting.



Remarks of Ms Louise Arbour, Secretary-General of the intergovernmental conference:
There is already a legal international framework that should be sufficient to assure the security of all migrants, in Human rights.

And still, it a truthiness that all the migrants have access to those rights even if there is a full panoply of protection laws to the benefit of the migrants for the countries form emerging, transit and arrival of migration.

There is a gap in the implementation of those rights in regard of access to health service, adequate housing, education and justice, mostly because of a lack of information and also due to cultural and language difficulties.

It is not only a question of ratification and implementation of existing norms that are normative

We need to recall that even irregular migrants have the same rights as everybody.

They should not be perceived as a crime against the society. In fact, they are the evidences that show us the fragility of all the migrants, because they are victims of discrimination, xenophobia and exclusion. Those attitudes are generalized on every migrant. We can observe it in different frames of labour: agriculture, domestic work and all the unqualified positions. Their status of irregular migrants prevent them to defend themselves and to have access to public services.

We have an erroneous perception of the migrants because of the difficulty to deal with this irregular migration that generate Xenophobia and racism.
The goal of the Global Compact should be to assure respect, security and dignity to all the migrants.
We expect that you engage yourself in a concrete change of perception on migration.

Introduction to the first Panel:

Moderator: H.E Mr Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations

This panel will address issues related to the human rights of all migrants with a focus on practical implementation of international norms, as well as identifying and analysing specific challenges at all stages of migrations, including the needs of migrants in vulnerable situations.

Migration is no more perceived only as an element of cleavage but also as a positive factor for the economic system, for example.
He mentions that:
Human rights are universal and concern every human, included the migrants,
everybody has the right to equal treatment: both regular and irregular migrants,
the are some divergences: some countries think that Human rights are only for national or regular migrants, and they exclude the irregular migrants.

The objectives of this meeting are to answer to several questions:

  • Should the states members ensure access to human rights to all the migrants?
  • Which measures must be taken so that everyone have access to HR?
  • Which measures must be taken so that ODD are not put aside during the process?
  • What can we do to avoid the practice of detention for the migrants?
  • How can we decrease the vulnerability of the migrants, particularly the women, the families, the non-accompanied children?
  • What should we put in place for a better future?

MS. Monami Maulik, Advocacy Coordinator, Global Coalition on Migration:
The majority of the migrants deal with a non-respect of their rights.
The leadership should protect them instead of prosecute them.
The migration will increase with the globalization of the world.

We need to go beyond the economic aspects.

For the moment, the way we deal with migration increase the vulnerability of this population.

The migrants don’t have voice in the process, they are scapegoats for a lot of situations. The concrete measures are not sufficient to protect them.

1. The protection of all the migrants is covered with the Human Rights.

2. To protect the vulnerable migrants such as families, we must increase the regular and legal channel of migration,

3. We have to focus on the rights of women and girls at every step of the process,

4. Each migrant need access to basic needs, and need access to justice and to legal protection,

5. We must engage with the migrants association, do concrete step and be accountable at every level and stages of the process.

Mr Benjamin Lewis, Advocacy Coordinator, International Detention Coalition

2 big ideas:
1. the success or failure of the global compact will automatically be measure by the application/protection of the Human rights. Human rights are very practical, for each difficulty or injustice, there is one concrete answer in the HR. we are all migrants who search good application of HR:

2. We need to change the content of our conversation: the migrants of all times were irregular fashion. It is a utopia to think that we will have to deal only with regular migrants. The only way to go in this direction is to regularize their fashion, from the country of origin to their arrival.

3 commitments:
1. End the criminalization of the migrants. If we continue on the way of criminalization, migrants will be more and more assimilate to violence, criminality and terrorisms.

2. End the detention system: it brings a generalization of the status of criminal to all migrants, there are alternatives to the detention. (Mostly for families and children.)

3. Protect the most vulnerable migrants

3 concrete ways:
1. Continue the mainstream conversation
2. Relay upon the designated UNO Human rights experts: Human rights exist, they only need to be applicate.
3. Put aside the notion that Human rights are not practical and concrete. The human rights are concrete alternatives to all difficult situations.

Ms Paola Cyment, Project officer, Comisiòn de Apoyo a Refugiados y Migrantes (CAREF)

CAREF works at the ground.
The Global Compact has to address the need of all the women, at all step of their migration journey. Those who remain in their country also. LGBT people included.

The irregular situation increase the vulnerability: no access to the public services, increase of risk of violence ( example of a woman who avoid health service during her all pregnancy until she finally was brought to hospital where she lose her baby and then was forced by the government to return in her country…

She tell us the story of a woman who enter illegally in a country because of laws that should decrease Human traffic. AHT coercive measures are of great concerns when it affected the migration process.

- Human rights must be in the center of every discussion.
- Implementation of firewall locally and internationally
- the victim should be able to report independently of a legal status
- we need to facilitate social inclusion and have gender specific approach,
- the migrant should have full access to labour market, labour rights. 


This panel will examine ways to confront discrimination, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance against migrants, including trough national law that protects their rights, ensure equal access to justice, and through public discourse that supports a positive attitude towards migrants.

Moderator: H.E Mr Jãnis Kãrklinš: Each person has rights, rights to equality, to none discrimination. The human rights already contains article that assure that (20th, for example)

We have to care and recognize all discriminative practice such as xenophobia, racism, incitement to hatred. The legal frame exist, we have delay in the application.

In 2015 we reached a peak. Since then, there is new tendencies: the traditional and numeric platforms are less tolerant.

Some societies are not ready to change: they are not confronted to important migratory flow or they don’t have any humanitarian tradition. We also face emotional reactions.
We need to develop a positive rhetoric, to tell constructive stories.
The rule of the medias is crucial, both traditional and numeric.

Mr Richard Wilson, Co-founder of Stop Funding Hate

We have develop a concept of ethic advertisement.
We have to denunciate all stories or use of xenophobia against migrants.

The clients must be encouraged to stop supporting every media using discrimination in advertisement. We can used our consumer voice.

Together, we can show that hatred is not profitable anymore.

USA: more than 200 agencies have stop to use this sort of argumentation. The ethic advertisement is current trend.
It’s possible to synchronize action:

Be an example and get engaged in an ethic advertisement policy.
Use the big events such as Olympic Games or festival to promote a positive ethic of advertisement or to lead awareness.

Chose not to support media that accepted hatred oriented publicity.

Collaborate with the private sector
Include in the Global Compact directives for the entrepreneurial sector

Use politic channel to increase respect and awareness.

We should act so that hatred will not be profitable anymore.

Ms. Piya Muqit. Executive Director, Justice Centre
The already existed legislation and juridical frames are important.
Based on her observations in Hong Kong, she tells us that the politic speeches don’t always fit the reality: it’s often based on perception – a few example of difficulties leading to generalization. There is an increase of articles reporting criminal actions done by refugee, using such expression such as fake refugee, illegal Chinese refugee, illegal migrant …
there is a real disinformation against the migrants.
Even at the politic scene, we have to use a positive, honest speech. We must keep an open spirit, care for inclusion and bring the migrants to the heart of our discussion.

Mr Mutuma Ruteere, Special rapporteur on contemporary form of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

We have to put to the test the mechanisms of the government. And we have to implement laws against xenophobia and racism, particularly against migrants on all national level.
qualities criteria for data collection:
- Data on tendencies of discrimination problems.

- Disaggregated data (données ventilées) on high problematics,

- Disaggregated data with possibilities of response,

- We need credible voices for the victims.

Often, the data are collected, but not used for prevention action.
When we take in account the collected data, we can develop a better approach for the population, it’s a great amelioration for the most vulnerable.

Delegation – Leadership: some countries restrain this collaboration.

We need to search other ways to collect data, perhaps by hiring independent organisation.

Data exploitation: for example, in case of genocide: an open dialog can clarify the fears and lead to the creation of protective laws, a reinforcement of the human rights.

Positive public speeches: the xenophobia is fed by stories of criminality, and, for example the myth that it steal job from the nationals. The data show that it is not the case: it delegitimises those who used hatred and prejudices-


1st panel on “Human rights of all migrants”:

Moderator: H.E Mr. Omar Hilale
He mention three categories of commentaries and positions:
1. Convergences:
- the Human rights must be at the centre of the Global Compact,
- as the human rights are cross-cultural, it must be at the heart of the discussions
- Content of the Global Compact: we need to go beyond the theoretic level: we need to develop concrete measures.
- Importance of the international tools from the Human rights –for example: international conventions, labour rights for migrants and families.
- Vulnerability: focus on the protection of women and non-accompanied children
- Rule of the international institution of human rights and the civil society: we need to work together with all the stakeholder without excluding the migrants associations.   

2. Divergences that needs discussion:

- Detention: some defend this position, other say that it must be used at a last resort,
and a third group denounce it.
- Detention of children: total rejection to the justification as a necessity. –

- Depenalization of the illegal migration: between punitive laws and protection of the boundaries: no solution
- process of returning of refugees in their country of origin: rights of the states to be recognized

3. (Conjonction des positions) Meeting points of view:
- Scope of the compact: some fundamental rights must be guaranteed or applied only to the natives
- migration management: we have to reinforce the regular migration channels,
the irregular migration is problematic

- Reinforcement of a bilateral collaboration – we need to change the perception from “ problematic” to “chances”
- Migration factors has been several times mentioned: we need to reinforce de capacities of the countries, through good governance and reinforcement of the laws rules (état de droits)

- Concrete measurements: awareness of the states on rights and responsibilities, reinforcement of the application of human rights, cooperation and respect, contribution to the SDG

Conclusion: 4 key points:
1. Realistic and concrete definition of the issue,
2. Preservation of the human dignity
3. Soft law approach form the Global Compact and implementation of a more global approach:  renewal of the process for a more realistic management
4. Use of a realistic and pragmatic speech.

2nd panel on “social inclusion and cohesion”

Moderator. H:E:Mr Evan P.Garcia
The three panellists spoke about an approach based on human rights, the necessity to quit a speech based on fear et anxiety for a positive and constructive speech, and the used of international convention to strengthen the efforts.

Several mains points:

- To recognize the value that the migrants bring to the society (both in the country of arrival and the country of origin)
- The crucial role that has the media (traditional and modern) on the points of view of the population
- The need to give a great number of accurate data to develop a common understanding without starting from scratch
- The circular migration must be the weft of the social process
- We need to assure access to health and education, for that, we need to clarify eligibility and firewall
- We need to emphasize the importance of the private sector ( not only the employers but also the facilitators). The integration into the labour market facilitate the inclusion and the regularization of the migrant.

We must collaborate with ICM and the procedure of the states.
The state is called to interact with others stakeholders: community organisations, local organisation,
we must encourage the migrants, the diaspora to express themselves because they can speak from their own experience.

If the boundaries of a country is delimitated by stakes, the real line of the boundaries is the acceptation of the migrants: it is the locale community and its institutions and public services.

We need to reach this level in our conversation for a better impact and significant action.

3rd panel on “All forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia and intolerance

Moderator: H.E. Mr Jãnis Kãrklinš
There is consensus on
- we don’t need more tools, we need measures of strict application of the already existing conventions.
- we need to adjust the national legislation and the international tools
- the national politic must be funded on facts  - for that , we need disaggregated data
- we need a better understanding, analysis of the realities of the population.
- we need a supervision of the migration flux, for that , we have to develop approaches that fit the specificities of each country
- we talk about politic debate that lead to inclusive migration policy – those debate must include all the stakeholders.
- Awareness and education on the subject since kindergarten, thank reinforcement of the capacity of the functionaries
- Impunity is unacceptable
- the medias have a rule to play: it can be positive or destructive: we need a positive rhetoric, that speak to the population

Innovative thoughts:
- Make the economical xenophobia low (to forbid all publicity, advertisement that are racist, discriminative or xenophobe.) thank economic sanctions. Expend “STOP FUNDING HATE” to great sportive and cultural events.-

Mr François Crepeau, Special rapporteur on the human rights of Migrant provide a short overview of the main discussion:

  • Treatements are mostly mention to denounce corruption
  • Undocumented migrant: the states insist on control of the boundaries (which seems to be incompatible with the rights of the migrants)
  • “ to control the boundaries, we must manage the mobility” – facilitate mobility and integration
  • Detention don’t “disturb” the migration, it is contra productive. And it facilitates the human trafficking. This is not recognized by all states. The states want to be free to choose their attitude: it is a risk for the security, and it provide leaks in the surveys.
    We need to observe the practices, the outcomes and we need to analyse them
  • In regard of the human rights in the return process – we need to assure the support of lawyers (juridical assistance), and also independent decision makers. – it is quasi inexistent.
  • Firewall concept: the fact that migrants should not fall into hands of traffickers has some success (mostly children and undocumented migrants) but there is still some lack: access to justice for the undocumented people,
  • Control program inapplicable because of the pressing of the voters.
  • The exploitation in the work market is universal: we need to talk about ways to reduce the black work. The migrants go where there is work. Sadly, there is no discussion about ways to prosecute employers.
  • Everybody agree to fight against xenophobia, but there is no talk about how to do it. We need to accept diversity: cultural, sexual, religious.
  • The state are not agreeing on inclusion: lack of protection for the migrants in the daily life, from detention, multiculturalism is not perceive as a richness for assimilation.
  • Positive: the link between SDG and Human rights, even if we need to talk about how to do it, how to implement it. We can focus on the SDG that speak about migrants and build upon them.
  • What is missing: a long term strategy planning

“ Today, we brought down the wall of silence.”

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

1. This first Thematic Session offered a broad view on 3 migrants issues: their access to Human rights, their social inclusion and the challenge of discrimination to xenophobia. 
2. The summarize present an accurate review of the different tendencies and can help us to develop our own statements, approach and collection of data.
3. It also where there is lack of solutions .. for example in a legal and juridical support for the migrants, or some factors that can support inclusion – a great help to write, reinforce and explain some strategic.

Web links for more information

Tags: United Nations, SDG10: Reduced Inequalities, SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, SDG1: No Poverty, SDG4: Quality Education, SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG5: Gender Equality, SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being