Migration Governance in the UN: What is the Global Compact and What Does it Mean?

16 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2017  

Elspeth Guild

Queen Mary University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Stefanie Grant

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for the Study of Human Rights

Date Written: January 8, 2017

Abstract

The subject of this Working Paper is the UN Global Compact on Migration in respect of which negotiations open at the beginning of 2017 in New York. The working paper sets out the background to the resolution of the UN General Assembly now called the New York Declaration of 19 September 2016 which calls for two compacts one on migration and the other on refugees (the second led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is outside the scope of this paper). The paper examines the political developments which have preceded the New York Declaration on the Global Compact and the role of the International Organization for Migration which became a UN related organisation in July 2016. We focus on two key issues which need to be examined in the negotiations: (1) The existing UN migration norms which have been adopted mainly in the framework of human rights (conventions, General Comments of Treaty Bodies, Resolutions and Guidelines already adopted) need to be at the heart of the Compact; (2) The International Organization for Migration has been allocated a central role in aiding the negotiation of the Global Compact. Yet in the agreement between the IOM and UN setting out the terms of the relationship, IOM's status as a 'non-normative' body is reiterated and acknowledged by the UN. This 'non-normative' position of the IOM must not become an obstacle to building the Global Compact on the existing UN normative human rights framework.

Suggested Citation

Guild, Elspeth and Grant, Stefanie, Migration Governance in the UN: What is the Global Compact and What Does it Mean? (January 8, 2017). Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 252/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2895636

Elspeth Guild

Queen Mary University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies ( email )

Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Stefanie Grant (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for the Study of Human Rights ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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