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Rome Reports

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UN Global Compact on Migration: migration is beneficial with partnership and management


In 2017, there were 258 million international migrants, adding up to 3.4 percent of the global population.

The UN has taken note and will adopt an international agreement on Dec. 11-12 in Marrakesh, Morocco. The document is the Global Compact for Migration, a non-binding document seeking to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration across countries.

Representatives from the International Catholic Migration Commission gathered in Rome to explain it. They say since 50 years ago, the international community has come a long way to be able to have healthy dialogue over this issue. 

DR. ANNE GALLAGHER
ICMC President
“Throughout history, this is one area of international regulation that we haven't been able to see progress. This truly is the first time that the international community has come together and attempted to develop a framework of corporation.” “We understand now what makes migrants most vulnerable, what makes them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse and the bad parts of migrating.”

Thus, they hope to target these vulnerabilities and include legal pathways for migrants to move more easily. Another goal is for migrants to be better informed and understand the risks and benefits involved in changing countries. 

One of the risks seen over and over again is the continuous a lack of integration in the host culture. 

On the other hand, migration has proven positive effects for the global economy, it provides migrant workers for countries and the people help care for the elderly population. The compact addresses both themes. 

STEPHANE JAQUEMET
ICMC Director of Policy
“I think the first thing to say is that indeed migration can be beneficial if only there is a certain level of management. Unlike what some people, some critics of the Global Compact have said. The Global Compact is not about opening the door wide open that anyone can come, etc. That is not the idea.”

DR. ANNE GALLAGHER
ICMC President
“We have to understand that not all migration is great for host communities. Host communities are quite often compelled to bear the burdens of migration and not always to receive their share of the benefit. What I feel very strongly is that there needs to be a partnership. The host communities need to be a part of the decision-making and they need to be part of the benefits of migration.”

The President of International Catholic Migration Commission insisted that this compact is in everyone's interest and a collective responsibility for every country. The Commission has been involved in all three years of planning, working with the UN to find policies that can help each of the 192 Global States. 

STEPHANE JAQUEMET
ICMC Director of Policy
“The idea is that every single country has the right and more than the possibility, the right to control migration. But it has to do it in the spirit of respecting international human rights and the dignity of people.”

Austria, Hungary and the United States have already said they will not participate in the non-binding document, and perhaps a couple more countries will back out before Dec. 11-12.