GENEVA – Geneva Council for Human Rights and Justice (GCHRJ) welcomed the adoption of the new UN migration pact, to which 150 of the 193-member countries joined Monday in Morocco, but it criticized the non-abiding character of the States dealing with the Charter.
The United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) was widely accepted despite the considerable votes against, mainly of the United States, one of the most affected countries in the world in this issue of migratory flow as a receiver.
Through this non-binding agreement, the UN seeks to regulate and give a better treatment to the group of migrants that is increasing every day on the planet.
“At a time of increasing anti-Semitism, intolerance against Muslims and other forms of hatred, racism and xenophobia, we reaffirm our commitment to defend the equality and dignity of everybody,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to EFE.
GCHRJ stated in a press release that it was disappointed at the lack of international consensus on the mandatory status of the Global Compact on Migration, leaving it subject to the goodwill of countries, despite the global significance and unprecedented differences.
The council stressed that the compulsory status of the international Charter on Migration is an urgent necessity in light of the escalating Yemeni anti-immigration attitudes in most countries of the world, and after the migration file became an electoral paper raised by the populists in the countries of the European Union.
It confirmed the importance of the international adoption of the Charter to ensure international consensus on the importance of international cooperation for organized and orderly migration, calling for its formal adoption in the vote scheduled for 19 December before the United Nations General Assembly.
GCHRJ underlined the principles of the International Declaration of Human Rights and Children’s Rights and recognized the national sovereignty of countries and proposed measures to assist countries facing migratory crisis such as the exchange of information and experience, the integration of migrants and, most importantly, preventing arbitrary arrests as a last choice.
At the same time, the Council urged that the international compact, when formally endorsed by the United Nations, ensure that migrants have access to humanitarian assistance and basic services and that workers’ rights are guaranteed.
The Council confirmed the principle of non-refoulement of migrants as a fundamental principle of international migrants’ law, which prohibits countries from expelling or returning refugees to a place where their life or freedom is threatened by their race, religion, nationality or membership. This principle is clearly expressed in article 33 of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
Human rights standards provide additional protection against refoulement as well as refugee law, including those where there is a risk of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
The principle of non-refoulement is a rule of customary international law and therefore binding on all countries, whether or not they are parties to the 1951 Convention or international human rights instruments.
There are about 258 million migrants around the world, accounting for 3.4 percent of the world’s population. Their remittances account for about $ 450 billion, about 9 percent of the world’s gross output, according to UN figures.