Protecting and Benchmarking Migrants’ Rights: An Analysis of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

Posted: 6 Aug 2019 Last revised: 14 Nov 2019

See all articles by Justin Gest

Justin Gest

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs

Ian M. Kysel

Cornell Law School

Tom Wong

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: August 2, 2019

Abstract

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) was to be “guided by human rights law and standards” in recognition of the rights of international migrants, who are currently protected by an overlapping patchwork of treaties and international law. The GCM contains many laudable commitments that, if implemented, will ensure that states more consistently respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of all migrants and also that states incorporate data on migration into a more cohesive governance regime that does more to promote cooperation on the issue of international migration. However, many concerns remain. Using a legal analysis and cross-national policy data, we find that the GCM neither fully articulates existing law nor makes use of international consensus to expand the rights of migrants. In its first section, this paper provides a concise analysis of the GCM's compliance with a set of core principles of existing international human rights law regarding migrants. In the second section, we apply a novel instrument to create an objective, cross-national accounting of the laws protecting migrants’ rights in various national legal frameworks. Focusing on a sample of five diverse destination and sending countries, the results suggest we are close to an international consensus on the protection of a core set of migrants’ rights. This analysis should help prioritize the work necessary to implement the GCM.

Suggested Citation

Gest, Justin and Kysel, Ian M. and Wong, Tom, Protecting and Benchmarking Migrants’ Rights: An Analysis of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (August 2, 2019). International Migration, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3431325

Justin Gest

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Ian M. Kysel (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Tom Wong

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

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