International Migration Review Update


Description automatically generated

After four years, the creation of the Global Compact for Migration countries have completed their review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM).

The Global Compact is comprised of 23 Objectives. Each day during the Forum, the GCM focused on different objectives of the Compact that made for a rich and diverse discussion as well as input from the various member states and civil society.

It is important that we see migration from a climate change perspective as well. The International Organization of Migration highlights activities that each of us can do to mitigate migration due to climate change. You will see some of the suggestions at the end of this article.

A new learning and insight I have had as an outcome of attending many events at the UN on the GCM regarding vocabulary, the word Immigration. Immigration is not referred to in the document and is not the preferred term. We here in the U.S., use this term immigration frequently. However, the appropriate term we need to start using is Migration. Pope Francis refers to the migrant as “vulnerable people on the move.” It is important that we understand the nuances of migration and how we continue our work for safe, orderly and regular migration. 

What is the U.S. commitment to the GCM? 

“President Biden established a framework for the United States to recommit to work collaboratively with governments, civil society, international organizations, and other partners to support humane migration, address the root causes of irregular migration, collaboratively manage migration in the region, rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and other legal pathways for protection and migration, restore faith in the U.S. immigration system, include and integrate new U.S. citizens into civic life, protect child migrants, and support family unity. “

As you learned from previous UN Updates, each country has committed to safe, orderly and regular migration through the 23 Objectives of the Global Compact on Migration. 

Here are a few of the commitments that the U.S. is making regarding the GCM.

Objective 21 The United States welcomes the GCM’s recognition, of the need to facilitate safe and dignified return and reintegration, to include upholding the principle of non-Refoulement in the context of migrant removals.

Objective 9 The U.S. has a long-standing determination to combat human smuggling and eradicate trafficking in persons. It has prioritized this objective. It will redouble its efforts to minimize the adverse drivers that push people to leave their countries of origin, such as regional violence, corruption. Economic insecurity and overall lack of opportunity with emphasis on address the impact of climate change on migration.

Objective 13, the U.S. Congress has enacted various statutes making immigration detention mandatory in certain circumstances. 

Non-citizen children in government custody are placed in the least restrictive setting that is appropriate for the child and are treated in a safe and dignified manner. 

Objective 3:  U.S. strongly supports the recognition of the need to provide accurate and timely legal information to migrants.

The United States also provides appropriate legal and procedural safeguards for all migrants and asylum seekers.

Objective 6 The U.S. supports strong protections for migrant workers against unethical recruitment, exploitation and abuse as well as migrant workers’ equal enjoyment of labor rights regardless of immigration status.

Objective 2 Biden-Harris have redoubled efforts to minimize the adverse drivers that push people to leave their countries of origin, e.g. regional violence, corruption, economic insecurity, and lac of opportunity.

The U.S. interprets the GCM’s references to due process and other protections, including for migrants seeking to cross an international border, those in U.S. government custody, and in the context of returns or removals, to be consistent with our international and domestic legal obligations.

So here are a few things you can do to mitigate climate change and migration?

♦  Urge your local and regional government entities to improve waste management to include collection of non-meat food scraps for composting and of all paper, plastics, glass, and metals for recycling 

♦  Educate yourself and your families, friends, and communities (especially young people) about climate-induced displacement 

♦  Join a local group of activists or natural resource defenders that resist environmentally harmful policies 

♦  Eat locally-sourced foods and reduce meat and cheese consumption 

♦  Walk, bike, or take public transportation instead of driving whenever possible

♦  Drink tap water from a reusable, non-plastic container 

♦  Shop with reusable, not plastic, bags 

♦  Avoid buying items that come in excessive packaging material 

♦  Refuse plastic drinking straws at restaurants 

♦  Shorten your shower time 

♦  Turn off all lights or electronics when not in use 

♦  Avoid buying new electronics, clothing, and other goods until those they own are unusable 

♦  Buy goods secondhand when you to make a purchase 

♦  Cold wash and hang dry clothing 

Additional resource:

  • IOM-Migration, Environment, and Climate Change: climate-change