Advocating for migrants’ rights at the United Nations

In critical moment for the protection of migrants and refugees, Dianova has been at the forefront of advocacy efforts with the organized civil society in New York

Saionara König-Reis (2nd from left), with the delegate of the Brazilian mission at the United Nations (third, left) and representatives of the NGO Committee on Migration

By Saionara König-Reis – This month it took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York the 4th round of negotiations on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), a document that will be the first UN agreement to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. May has also been a month in which the organized civil society took on numerous activities to build our own capacities and advocate for a robust GCM with UN member states. Dianova International have been at the forefront of these efforts, organizing and speaking at events and having advocacy conversations with member states’ delegates.

May was a month of intensified activities around the Global Compact on Migration negotiations

As the GCM reached this month of May the middle term in the timeline for its negotiations, migrants and migrants’ organizations intensify their efforts to ensure that the document will provide the necessary tools to enable safe and regular migration pathways and will protect the human rights of all persons of the move.

In such context, a key effort to advocate for strong policies on the GCM was the civil society visits to member states, coordinated by the NGO Committee on Migration (NGO CoM). More than 50 groups were formed to carry out this initiative, and the Head of Dianova Office in New York and Representative to the UN, Saionara König-Reis, led the visit to the Brazilian Mission to the UN. On May 8 the group led by Saionara met at the Brazilian Mission with the Second Secretary, Fernando Cavalcanti, and with the Minister-Counselor, Ricardo Monteiro, to discuss GCM-related issues such as the promotion of pathways for regular migration, the challenging situation of persons displaced due to climate disasters, and the need to protect the human rights of all persons, regardless of their status and including in the context of mixed flows of migration.

In addition to this initiative, on May 10 Dianova was invited to present at the NGO CoM monthly event, together with representatives of other civil society organizations who shared the experiences of their programs on the ground in the delivery of services to support refugees and migrants’ human rights in various regions of the globe. The event focused on the implementation part of the Rev Draft 1 of the GCM document.

From the perspective of the implementation of programs for migrants and refugees on the ground, the civil society representatives spoke about the advantages and challenges of having partnerships with governments, media, other NGOs, migrant communities, UN agencies, private sector entities, academia, local communities, and trade unions. Saionara König-Reis, representing Dianova, shared the experience of Dianova Spain in assisting women who are seeking asylum in that country. The program provides legal assistance for them to seek regularization of their status and supports them with social and labor integration services, including psychological assistance.

In the last day of the 4th round of negotiations on the GCM, on May 18, Dianova co-sponsored an event organized by the NGO Committee on Migration and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) at the UN. The event, moderated by the Dianova representative, focused on strategies and good practices to combat xenophobia and discrimination and it was a significant effort to bring to the UN the voices of migrants and migrants’ organizations from eight countries in five different regions of the globe. This event was broadcast live and the video can be watched at the UN Web TV page.