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. As such, the IFRC views the Global Compact on Refugees as a unique opportunity to improve the situation for refugees around the world. At the same time, we need to do better at sharing our global humanitarian responsibilities towards refugees and easing the pressure on countries that welcome and host refugees. These key messages have been specifically crafted in view of the negotiations around the Programme of Action, and we hope States will support having them reflected in the final outcome of the Global Compact on Refugees to be adopted in December 2018.
In the design of the Global Compact on Refugees, the IFRC calls on States to:
1. Adopt a more equitable and principled approach to responsibility sharing
The Global Compact on Refugees must ultimately be about greater cooperation and solidarity among States. Equitable, predictable and flexible funding will be one of the key aspects of a successful international responsibility sharing scheme.
2. Support refugees to become self-reliant
Refugees should be considered as “agents of development” rather than passive recipients of humanitarian aid. When refugees gain access to education and labor markets, they can build their skills and become self-reliant, contributing to local economies and supporting the development of the communities hosting them.
Inclusion of refugees in their new home country is the most effective way to ensure positive outcomes for them and the wider community, and supporting their wish to contribute to that society.
3. Recognize and support the role of local civil society in hosting refugees and meeting their needs
States and humanitarian actors need to recognize the distinct added value of local actors as well as enhance local actor’s capacities to provide qualitative, sustainable and principled humanitarian responses.