Statement Civil Society Days Marrakesh: PICUM and its partners highlight realities of undocumented migrants

On the eve of the adoption of the Global Compact on Migration, over 80 migrant rights advocate members of the Global Coalition on Migration (GCM) from around the world, including PICUM, are gathering in Marrakech to advocate with governments to implement international cooperation frameworks on migration. The key focus is the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to protect the rights of people on the move.

UN Migration Week events:

December 4-7: Civil Society Days of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (find more information here).

December 8-9: People’s Global Action for Migration, Development and Human Rights

December 8: Global Coalition Side Event, “Changing the Narratives on Migration in Africa: Collaboration between media houses, journalists and Migrant Rights Networks tied to Civil Society”

17:30 – 19:45 GMT+1

Palmeraie Conference, Hôtel du Golf, Palmeraie Palace, Marrakech

December 9-10: Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

PICUM’s Director, Michele LeVoy, addressing undocumented migrants’ rights

Photo: PICUM’s Director, Michele LeVoy, and representatives of several of its member organisations take part in the Civil Society Days addressing undocumented migrants’ rights

As the scapegoating of migrants risks becoming a worldwide standard political strategy –  evidenced in recent withdrawals from the Compact and misleading comments from politicians about the non-binding agreement – it falls on migrant rights networks and advocates to counter false narratives and hold governments accountable to their international human rights commitments.

Mamadou Goita, Co-Chair of the GFMD Civil Society Days and from Pan Africa Network in Defense of Migrant Rights emphasizes, “The question forward is how to leverage a global multilateral agreement and networks to impact national debates.  How do we change the narrative around migration using the strength that we harness as global network of advocates.”

GCM members were vocal advocates during consultations around the world in 2017 as well as in the negotiations for the Compact in 2018. They are in Marrakech to champion issues such as pathways for migrants displaced by climate change, gender-responsive migration policies, labour rights for migrant workers regardless of status, and concrete anti-discrimination policies to challenge racism and xenophobia, amongst other issues.

Catherine Tactaquin (National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights in the US) commented on the important moment in Marrakech, “The Global Compact on Migration is a key moment — an opportunity to shift the narrative on migration. Immigration debates will continue to happen at the national levels and as civil society we have to be involved in those conversations in a coordinated way. We have learned a lot in this process ands can use the Global Compact on Migration to help provide a unifying tool for civil society.”

GCM members are uniquely positioned to provide insight as they represent migrant networks on the ground and have also been involved in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) since 2007. GCM has strived to amplify the voices of migrants and bring representation in national, regional and international spaces, including and the Global Compact process.

“The Global Coalition on Migration has made a strong impact in articulating that migrant-led organizations, trade-unions and Global South perspectives be considered in the Global Compact content, design and implementation. We have built regional and migrant networks that have influenced the twenty-three objectives of the Compact and our members will continue advocating on all of these issues as we enter a new era of migration governance in the face of a tenuous political climate,” notes Monami Maulik, International Coordinator of the Global Coalition.

GCM delegates represent a uniquely diverse spectrum of civil society – from migrant-led organizations and policy experts, to labour unions and faith-based organizations, and hail from different continents, offering much-needed regional expertise and insight on how the Compact will influence national migration policies.

For example, Alianza Americas brings a strong message to UN Migrant Week, given the realities of the migrant caravan and border closures in the U.S. and Mexico. “We are going to focus our time this week on advocating for migrants in the Central America – Mexico corridor,” explains Lariza Dugan Cuadra of Alianza Americas. “Alianza is bringing a targeted regional perspective to Migration Week, yet we think it is critical to analyze patterns that are happening in other parts of the world so we can exchange and strategize and take some of that knowledge into our advocacy spaces with governments.”

Watch here a video interview with Monami Maulik, International Coordinator of the Global Coalition on Migration, explaining what the compact is about and how civil society organisations advocating for migrants’ rights can support its implementation.

GCM spokespersons available for interviews:

Members of the Global Coalition on Migration will be present available for interview throughout Migration Week events, including Global Forum on Migration Days, the People’s Global Action and the UN Intergovernmental Conference.

Mamadou Goita, Pan Africa Network in Defense of Migrant Rights (PANiDMR)- French, English

Michele Levoy, PICUM Director – French, English : communications@picum.org 

William Gois, Migrant Forum in Asia- English

Lariza Dugan Cuadra, Alianza Americas- English, Spanish

Catherine Tactaquin, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights- English

Carolina Gottardo, Women in Migration Network (WIMN)- English, Spanish

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