IFRC Position on the Global Compact on Migration
The IFRC welcomes the commitments expressed by UN member states in the New York Declaration for refugees and migrants to respect and protect the safety, dignity and rights of migrants and refugees. We hope now to see the development of a Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration that goes beyond simply repeating these good intentions.
We must ensure that the Compact leads to progress on addressing the unacceptable levels of death, abuse, privation, and indignities currently faced by millions of vulnerable migrants around the world, including through outlining of global minimum standards for treatment of migrants. We also need to build on Resolution 3 of the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent where State parties specifically guaranteed to ensure National Societies humanitarian access to all migrants.
To achieve this, the Compact should feature commitments from States to:
1. Protect migrants and refugees across the full migratory trail from violence, abuse and other violations of their fundamental rights, with time-bound goals on:
• Saving lives, including by scaling up search and rescue activities at sea and on land;
• Implement border control procedures that conform with State’s obligations under international law, including ensuring there are no returns to locations where there are substantial grounds to believe they would be in danger of being subjected to violations of certain fundamental rights, in particular torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary deprivation of life or persecution, in violation of the principle of non-refoulement;
• Ensure collection of anonymized sex and gender disaggregated data on these protection violations in order to promote better analysis and develop policy and practice responses that prevent abuses;
• Preventing traffickers and other criminals from abusing or exploiting migrants and refugees, including through preparation for safer migration and a victim-supportive approach; and
Preventing hate crimes and sexual and gender based violence against migrants and refugees, including through full enforcement of existing laws, clear public messaging rejecting xenophobia and promoting social cohesion.
2. Guarantee migrants, irrespective of legal status, have effective access to essential basic services, with time-bound goals on:
• Ensuring that all migrants have access to essential basic services, including emergency and maternal health care, as well as shelter, food, psychosocial support, information about their rights and processes, and services that help them to restore family links;
• Addressing barriers to access basic humanitarian services such as gender, disability, age, language, culture, cost and fear of arrest, including through creation of firewalls between public services and immigration enforcement; and • Supporting and partnering with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other humanitarian actors to provide services, including through allowing the creation of “safe spaces” or “humanitarian safe points” and ensuring there is no criminalization of humanitarian assistance.
• Ensure collection of anonymized sex and gender disaggregated data on assistance needs and access to services in order to promote better analysis and develop policy and practice responses that facilitate improved access to assistance for all in need.
3. Prioritize the rights and needs of vulnerable migrant children, with time-bound goals on:
• Instituting regular vulnerability screenings, whereby all children (including unaccompanied children and those with guardians/adults), and other vulnerable groups are identified for specific assessment and care;
• Undertaking best interest of the child assessments to identify their needs and ensure referral to necessary support services, including safe accommodation options for unaccompanied and separated children;
• Ensuring the availability of adequately trained personnel at borders and in reception centers to provide childsensitive services, including psychosocial support; and
• Eliminating detention of children solely for reasons related to their migration status and the separation of migrant parents and children.