As the fifth round of negotiations begin on 4 June 2018 for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (The Global Compact) in New York, the Foundation reflects on the current draft of the Global Compact which was released by the Co-Facilitators on 28 May. The new draft captures discussions in the April and May intergovernmental negotiations.
The Foundation welcomes the new draft which continues to reflect the importance of addressing climate change as a driver of migration, whilst keeping focused on a people centred and whole of society approach.
While there have been a large number of textual changes made in the latest draft, the essential structure of the Global Compact remains unchanged. There remains a strong focus on the cross cutting nature of human rights in creating migration policy, as well as a whole-of-society approach.
The current draft also retains climate change as a driver of migration. New text in the latest revision connects analysis, information sharing and mapping to understand, predict and address migration movements around sudden and slow onset disasters, environmental degradation and climate change to ‘ensuring effective respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all migrants’. This link to the need to respect human rights in undertaking climate action around migration is an extremely positive step and the Foundation encourages support of this language.
The latest revision also includes a better reflection of international instruments relevant to climate displacement including: the Paris Agreement, the Platform on Disaster Displacement, the Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict (MCIC) and the Natural Disasters and the Sendai Framework. While the Global Compact only calls to ‘take into consideration the recommendations’ for the Platform on Disaster Displacement and MCIC, the Foundation would strongly encourage countries to do so in developing policies on climate displacement.
In relation to a rights based approach more generally, the Foundation is pleased to see that there is an increase in rights based language and an understanding of the obligations not to discriminate, particularly in the provision of basic services. The provision of basic services, regardless of migratory status is a key requirement for countries to meet their human rights obligations, and its reflection in the Global Compact is evidence of an increased recognition that migrants, regardless of their status, must have their rights protected without fear of migration authorities.
The Foundation looks forward to seeing the Global Compact reaching agreement over the next two negotiation rounds, and calls on countries to support the current formulations around climate change, human rights and participation.