After over a year of intergovernmental negotiations, the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was adopted at the Intergovernmental Conference on Migration in Marrakesh on December 10 2018.

The Global Compact marks the enhanced cooperation on international migration in all its dimensions and reiterates the human rights of all migrants. It sets out 23 objectives for safe, orderly and regular migration, each of which include commitments and suggested follow up actions for States. The Compact is not legally binding, but governments are responsible for ensuring that their policies and practices are consistent which the objectives of the Compact.

It takes a comprehensive approach on migration, including the reduction of drivers that lead people to leave their country of origin, improved collection of desegregated data on migration, provision of information on all stages of migration. It covers the need to expand pathways for regular migration as well as fair and ethical recruitment practices that ensure decent work, improved channels for remittances and increased cooperation on returns, readmission and reintegration.

The Global Compact aims to commit States to work towards alternatives to migration detention, provide access to basic services and support inclusion and social cohesion.

It was adopted by the vast majority of UN Member States in Marrakesh. A resolution to formally endorse the Compact is scheduled to be adopted on December 19 by the General Assembly in New York. Several governments, many of them EU Member States, have withdrawn their support from the Global Compact.The EU Member States are Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia.

As a non-legally binding document, it will depend on the willingness of governments and the creation of accountability mechanisms to ensure that States follow-up on the commitments in the Global Compact on Migration.

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Photo: (CC) Matteo Martinello, August 2009

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.