Migration and The First International Migration Review Forum

by | May 5, 2022 | News, Vincentian Family at the U.N.

Migration: “the act, process, or an instance of migrating”

Migrate: “to move from one country, place, or locality to another”

There are approximately 281 million international migrants worldwide, most move between countries in a safe, orderly, and regular manor. Many others become victims of abuse and or find themselves in vulnerable situations. Some suffer unspeakable abuse.

When migration is well governed, and workers are paid a fair wage, it can help stabilize the economy, and support workers. When it’s not well governed it quickly becomes disastrous.

There are many causes for migration, it’s often been defined as “push and pull factors” or an uneven distribution of opportunities over space. People tend to move from places of low opportunity and low safety to a place of higher opportunity and better safety. Other causes of migration include climate change, human trafficking, forced labor, forced marriage, and war.

A breakdown of migrant population several years ago looked something like this:

  • 135 million women,
  • 41 million children,
  • 26 million registered refugees,
  • 164 million migrant workers,
  • 6 million international students.

The Member States are committed to honoring the SDGs, and in relationship to Migration, SDG 10, Reduce Inequalities, is calling on Member States to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

In September of 2016, Heads of States from the 193 UN Member States came together at the UN General Assembly to discuss global migration and refugees. They adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to migration. By adopting the Declaration, UN Member States agreed to cooperate on the collaboration of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and a Global Compact for Refugees.

The Global Compact for Migration was adopted at an intergovernmental conference on international migration in December of 2018, in Morocco. The final version of the Compact sets out 23 objectives for safe, orderly, and regular migration, the list of which commits the UN Member States to collect and utilize accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies, and to develop a global program on migration data capacity-building. The third objective describes the need to provide adequate and timely information at all stages of migration.

Unfortunately, insufficient funding of data and statistics remain an obstacle for countries according to the 2020 SDGs progress report. International funding for data and statistics is about one half of the level it needs to monitor SDG implementation. This funding issue is reminiscent of the funding issue for counting global homelessness. While the Member States are sincere in their promises, funding doesn’t always follow.

The week of May 17th, The First International Migration Review Forum will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The forum will include four multi stakeholder round tables, a policy dialogue, and plenary sessions. It will result in an inter-governmental agreed upon Progress Declaration.

This forum has been in the works for some time, a great deal of careful planning has gone into it, all prior to Russia invading Ukraine, creating the heart wrenching forced migration we are currently witnessing.

It’s been reported that 660,000 people, mostly women and children fled Ukraine in the first five days of the invasion. Now more than 11 million have fled.

It’s my hope that the very dedicated organizers of the Forum will find time to include the new refugees in their agenda. I’ll report back to you.

Pattie Hughes, SSVP