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Co-Facilitators Issue Summary on Drivers of Migration

The co-facilitators of the preparatory process for the global compact on migration have released a summary of the second informal thematic session, which focused on ways to address the drivers of migration. In their summary, co-facilitators Juan José Gómez Camacho, Permanent Representative of Mexico, and Jürg Lauber, Representative of Switzerland, note that the 2030 Agenda provides a framework for reducing “negative” drivers and promoting migration’s benefits, but has not been translated into an actionable approach to migration.

The informal session, titled ‘Addressing drivers of migration, including the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters and human-made crises, through protection and assistance, sustainable development and poverty eradication, conflict prevention and resolution,’ took place from 22-23 May 2017, in New York, US, with the participation of UN Member States, UN entities and NGOs. It was part of the first preparatory phase for the compact, which consists of consultations in the form of six thematic sessions, and runs from April to November 2017. As noted by the co-facilitators, the summary should serve as one of the inputs for discussion at a stocktaking meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 4-6 December 2017.

The summary highlights the session’s discussions on the adverse effects of climate change, and natural disasters as drivers of migration.

The summary highlights key elements related to the session’s panels on: sustainable development and poverty eradication; human-made crises as drivers of migration; adverse effects of climate change; and natural disasters as drivers of migration. It also reports on the summary panel, and outlines recommendations formulated by participants on seven areas of discussion: overarching frameworks and principles; 
holistic approach to the multi-faceted drivers of migration;
 poverty eradication and inclusive growth; migrants’ contributions to sustainable development; the environmental dimensions of migration; sustaining peace; and data.

Recommendations include: giving due regard to the gender dimension of drivers of migration, including by applying gender 
responsiveness at all stages of the migratory process; establishing national action plans to build comprehensive and coherent migration systems and policies across sectors and in cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination; implementing all the SDGs from a migration perspective by developing an action-oriented roadmap within the framework of the global compact; lowering transaction costs of remittances to promote faster and more affordable transfers, including through bilateral or regional agreements; 
and reducing informal migration channels by providing regular pathways and offering regularization.

The co-facilitators also highlight recommendations to:
 provide temporary work visas for people particularly affected by sudden onset natural disasters; establish labor mobility, residence and free movement schemes that are designed for applications from persons displaced by the adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters; appoint a high-level representative to lead efforts on the nexus of climate and security within the UN system; strengthen good governance, the rule of law, democracy and accountability mechanisms as a means of prevention of armed conflict and human rights violations, including by ensuring access to justice; promote the application of the Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disaster emanating from the Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative (MICIC); develop accurate and country-specific migration profiles; strengthen the capacities of national institutions to ensure comprehensive data gathering, disaggregation and analysis; and 
harmonize methodologies of data collection and analysis to improve coordination and interoperability between national institutions and between countries.

The intergovernmental conference to adopt a global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration is scheduled to take place in October/November 2018. The compact will be the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement prepared under the auspices of the UN to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. Following the consultation phase, the meeting in Mexico will mark the beginning of the second, “stocktaking” phase (November 2017 to January 2018), followed by intergovernmental negotiations (February to July 2018).

Also on migration, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a report that presents a global snapshot of refugee and migrant children, the motivations behind their journeys and the risks they face along the way. Titled ‘A Child is a Child: Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation,’ the report notes that 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children moving across borders were registered in 80 countries in 2015–2016, a near five-fold increase from 2010-2011. It also states that children remain the second most commonly detected group of trafficking victims globally, after women, accounting for 28% of the total in 2014.

UNICEF outlines a six-point plan to keep refugee and migrant children safe: protect uprooted children from exploitation and violence; end the detention of refugee and migrant children by creating practical alternatives; keep families together and give children legal status; help uprooted children stay in school and stay healthy; press for action on the causes that uproot children from their homes; and combat xenophobia and discrimination. Read more from IISD

The third informal thematic session for the migration compact will address ‘International cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.’ It is scheduled to take place from 19-20 June 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. [Migration Compact Website] [Co-Facilitators’ Summary of Second Session] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Second Session] [UN Press Release on UNICEF Report] [UNICEF Publication: A child is a child: Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation] [UN Press Release on International Day Against Homophobia]