Concrete commitments needed to safeguard migrants’ rights

19th October 2015

More legal channels for migration are needed to ensure refugees’ protection, and help migrants have access to decent work in destination countries, international humanitarian and development network ACT Alliance has said.

As the Global Forum on Migration and Development came to a close in Istanbul last week, ACT Alliance said that there is a clear need to address the systemic issues underlying the global migrant and refugee crisis debate to ensure a rights-based approach to related policy.

The Global Forum, which met from 14-16 October, brought together governments and civil society to discuss migration issues tied in to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recruitment reform, migrants in crisis and related xenophobia.

“States have to protect human rights and labour rights, which form the cornerstone of fairer migration policies by ratifying the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families,” said Sophia Wirsching, Chair of the ACT Alliance Community of Practice on Migration and Development. “This provides the means and the guidance to transform rights into effective tools to promote broader prosperity and realize sustainable development and ensure dignity for all, including for migrants.”

While the alliance welcomed the inclusion of migrants and migration in five of the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals, it also stated that there was an urgent need for civil society to be effectively included in the formulation of indicators for the relevant targets, which are due in March 2016.

“The joint civil societies’ position for goals and targets of the global development agenda follows a human-centered, rights-based approach,” said Wirsching. “Migration is not a singled out phenomena but is linked to various dimensions of peoples’ struggles for equality, dignity, decent work and human rights. For these issues to be effectively addressed and resolved it is imperative that we have far more regular dialogue between civil society and governments on issues of migration and development. This is what will lead to more substantive engagement and sustainable results.”


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