Migrants’ rights should become a central pillar of the agenda of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau has said.
The Global Forum on Migration and Development Forum is the largest state-led global forum dealing with migration and development. The 6th annual edition was held in Mauritius on 21st and 22nd November 2012.
“Migration is certainly a complex phenomenon that must be considered from a wide range of perspectives, but the rights of the persons most affected by migration, the migrants themselves, need to be an integral part of these discussions,” Mr. Crépeau said.
The Global Forum on Migration and Development is a state-led, non-binding consultative process open to observers. It was created by States after the High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in 2006 and is formally outside the UN structure.
“As the main forum where States meet annually to discuss migration related issues, the Global Forum presents an important opportunity to discuss the human rights of migrants at the global level,” the Special Rapporteur said. “However, the event is not yet fulfilling its potential to become a fully inclusive forum which anchors the human rights dimension of migration.”
He stressed the limited ability of civil society organisations to participate effectively.
During this year’s forum, Mr. Crépeau announced that his next report to the UN General Assembly will focus on the global governance processes on migration, analysing how human rights are effectively included in such processes. “This study will contain an assessment of the evolution of the human rights considerations at the Global Forum which, although a non-binding forum, is currently the leading global forum in which States discuss global migration management,” he said.
The UN expert hopes that his study will complement the two assessments that have already been done on the Global Forum, one by States themselves, and one by civil society, and will also be constructive in the lead up to the second High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development, which will be held by the UN General Assembly in October 2013.
“I remain concerned about the lack of effective human rights mainstreaming in the current debate on the global governance on migration to date,” Mr. Crépeau warned. “I hope the High Level Dialogue will be seized as an opportunity to ensure that human rights are considered a core element of international discussions on migration at the highest level.”
The Special Rapporteur’s report will be presented to the UN General Assembly in October 2013.