Civil Society Open Letter to United Nations Member States

CINI with other 300 signatories have supported civil society’s Open Letter to UN Member States on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. As we enter the fourth round of negotiations on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), members of civil society, including migrants themselves, want to make sure that the text of the Compact respects the spirit of the New York Declaration and really helps protect the dignity of all migrants. They see a real possibility that migrants in vulnerable situations might fall through gaps in protection currently proposed by the Compact. To avoid this, members of civil society are making a strong collective call to all governments in this Open Letter.

Drafted by several members of the Action Committee, the statement identifies the following key areas that must be addressed in the final version, if the GCM is to achieve its goals and meet its original vision:

  • Safe and easy access to services and protection, regardless of regular migration status: The GCM must recognize and ensure that irregular migrants are able to safely report crimes, gender-discrimination and unfair labor practices, are able to attend or take children to school, and to receive medical attention.
  • Immigration detention: Strong and practical language is needed that supports ending child immigration detention and that limits the use of detention of all other migrants only as a matter of last resort, while working and building on alternatives.
  • Mixed migration: To ensure that no one is left behind, it is essential that migrants who have not yet asked for, do not have access to, or have been denied asylum, and migrants in situations of vulnerability, are considered fully within the scope of the GCM.
  • Communication and referral mechanisms between the two compacts are essential. In order to respond to the intimately linked experiences of refugees and migrants on the ground, civil society asks for clear communication and referral mechanisms between the two Compacts to prevent protection gaps.
  • Safe and regular pathways: Underpinning all these issues is the critical need to expand safe and regular pathways. Expanding these pathways is the key to creating an actionable GCM that upholds the vision of the New York Declaration. This cannot be achieved without an honest discussion and proper cooperation between Member States.

Those of us in New York will present this statement to States during the next round of negotiations starting 14th May, and we hope to count on a large number of sign-ons by then!

We therefore invite all members of civil society to join this call to states to ensure that the GCM leaves nobody behind, but that it also puts the furthest behind – and most vulnerable – first.

READ the full Letter here