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United Nations Preparatory Meeting in the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration


United Nations Preparatory (stocktaking) Meeting in the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

Action Group 1: Human Dimensions

December 5, 2017

International Convention Center

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Delivered by Judit Arenas, Deputy Permanent Observer, IDLO


Check against delivery

Thank you, Chair.

Migrants have been playing and continue to play an essential role in global development. The contribution they make to socio-economic development in countries of destination, through the transfer of ideas, values and skills is undeniable, though not always fully acknowledged.

While the potential benefits of migration are easily recognizable, they are too often undermined by discrimination, inequality and human rights abuses.

The International Development Law Organization is the only multilateral organization with an exclusive mandate to further the rule of law. We believe that the rule of law and human rights must form the basis of the Global Compact for Migration.

On one end, human rights are universal, inherent and irrespective of migratory status, on the other end, the rule of law - properly understood and applied - ensures that all people are equal and entitled to equal protection, no matter who they are or where, uprooted or at home.

I am heartened to hear the support from delegates on this point.

As we discuss the human dimension of migration I would like to emphasize the following points:

  • In order for us to address the human dimension we must address access to justice. Just because refugees and migrants do not have documents, it does not mean they do not have rights. Certain groups – in particular women, children, LGBTQI, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities – are more vulnerable and steps must be taken to ensure that the justice system is willing and able to handle those cases. IDLO’s projects on judicial capacity development seek to do just this and we are at the service of Member States to assist in this area.
  • While the humanitarian dimension has emerged in our deliberations, it is also important to emphasize the importance of the development sector that must work in tandem, not in sequence, with humanitarian assistance. The relevance of the development component and its key correlation with migration has been highlighted several times in Agenda 2030, both in the Declaration and in the Sustainable Development Goals, where SDG 10 and SDG 16 demonstrate that investing in planned and well-managed migration policies and in the rule of law is crucial if we are to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration. In particular, by strengthening institutions, the rule of law ensures justice and accountability, and by empowering people, it helps to build resilient societies.

We hope the GCM process will encourage governments and the international community to invest in the rule of law to better equip all of us to protect and assist people on the move. 



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