In the first weeks of July, 180 civil society organizations found agreement on some of the principles that should frame the Global Compact on Migration. This agreement came ahead of the sixth and final round of talks on the Compact, which took place in New York. The protection of children, family unification, and a plea to enhance processes of integration, featured strongly in this agreement. From a policy perspective these principles speak to the core of human rights-based policies.
Recently Pope Francis said, “We should promote the integral human development of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.” A number of the articles in this Digest spell out the implications of this challenge. So far this year, approximately 30 000 people attempted to reach Europe by sea. 771 have drowned in the process.
On 23rd April Pope Francis said very forthrightly: “I think of the abomination of human trafficking, crimes and abuses against minors, the horror of slavery still present in many parts of the world; the frequently overlooked tragedy of migrants, who are often victims of disgraceful and illegal manipulation.”
This Digest, while covering several general topical issues in this sector, also takes a closer look at some current policy issues which have a bearing on discussions in different parts of the world. Issues such as re-settlement, family reunification and the gender dimensions of migration are underlined.
It is trite to say that the crises linked to displaced persons continue unabated and that there is an increasing hardening of attitudes towards displaced persons in many countries.
The scourge of trafficking in persons continues unabated. Pope Francis is on record as having said that human trafficking is worsening and that in some instances the evidence brings one to doubt the real commitment of some important players. It is estimated that women and girls constitute 79% of victims of modern slavery.
The issue of the free movement of peoples in Africa is a regarded as a key aspect in unlocking Africa’s economic potential. It is also a crucial consideration in considering policies around migration.