Held under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly, the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) has recently finished. This was the first opportunity for UN Member States, Agencies, and other stakeholders to discuss the successes and challenges to the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM), since its adoption in 2018. Despite being a non-binding document, the Global Compact on Migration represents the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement that covers all dimensions of international migration. Framed to respect target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which the Member States commit to cooperating internationally to facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration. Among other objectives, the GCM is intended to make an important contribution to global governance and to enhance coordination on international migration.

The first International Migration Review Forum served to identify emerging migration issues requiring the attention of the international community. It was also a chance to consolidate collaborative action between actors and to recognize the invaluable contributions that migrants make to our societies at the local, national, regional, and global levels. At the first Global Review of the Compact, it appeared clear that there was much to be proud of, but also that many actions must still be implemented to realize the vision of the GCM. Therefore, future actions to accelerate the implementation of the Global Compact, as well as to strengthen international cooperation on international migration, have been decided.

Some of the main action points discussed and future actions to be implemented are of interest to MOAS as we work with the migrant communities worldwide. MOAS welcomes the inclusion of recommended action 51, which states that national and international actors “commit to building on promising practices to harness the benefits of safe, orderly and regular migration […] and to providing all migrants with safe access to basic services, regardless of their migration status, as well as continuity of care, covid-19 vaccinations, testing and treatment in line with universal health coverage, to ensure that no one is left behind […]”. MOAS also applauds the international community’s commitment to improving migrants’ integration into our societies by improving access to information, support, and services, eliminating all forms of discrimination, and “respecting, protecting, and fulfilling the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, including women and children, regardless of their status”. From a legal perspective, we fully support the promise to develop “national gender-responsive and child-sensitive migration policies and legislation […] to respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of all migrant women and children, regardless of their migration status.”

MOAS, as an advocate for #SafeAndLegalRoutes, welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s words: “Thousands of migrants still die every year pursuing what we all seek – opportunity, dignity, and a better life”. We must do more to prevent the loss of life—as a humanitarian imperative and a moral and legal obligation”. MOAS is thrilled about the inclusion of points 59, 60, and 61 in the final review. According to recommended action point number 59, the Member States and international authorities will strengthen their “efforts to enhance and diversify the availability of pathways for safe, orderly, and regular migration […] by concluding labour mobility agreements, optimizing education opportunities, and facilitating access to procedures for family reunification”. Moreover, and in line with action points 60 and 61, national and supranational actors have agreed to work in collaboration with countries of origin, transit, and destination to prevent, combat, and eradicate human trafficking, as well as to counter human smuggling. By fully respecting and protecting the human rights of migrants, the objective is two-folded: firstly, it seeks to combat and end the impunity of criminal activities that put the lives of migrants at risk; and secondly, it aims to ensure the effective identification, protection, and assistance of migrants who have become victims of these criminal networks.

Final thoughts

This first International Migration Review Forum is a stepping stone towards realizing the vision of the GCM and turning ongoing commitments into reality with the support of the UN system. MOAS hopes that the action points discussed will be correctly and fully implemented in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, we will continue our advocacy mission to immediately implement #SafeAndLegalRoutes of Migration, as well as to provide training in refugee camps around the world and work for the equal integration of migrant men and women into their host communities and countries of transit and/or arrival.


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