Civil Society organizations push to bring human rights to the center of the international policies that address large movements of migration.
Refugees, migrants, members of civil society, the private sector and states’ representatives have recently gathered at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York to share their views on relevant issues for the advancement of institutional policy at national and international levels regarding migrants and refugees. Dianova was present at the informal hearing, which was established by the President of the UN General Assembly with the purpose of giving a voice to various stakeholders wishing to contribute with the Outcome Document for the 19 September 2016 High-Level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.
The informal hearing was very important to make it more evident that not only can’t governments continue to exclude civil society from the policy-making table, but also that we have much to contribute to the discussions and practices in this field. In this regard, we appreciate the significant positive development in the last draft (July 30) of the outcome document for the September meeting, carried out by the mediators of the process after the hearing.
As we move towards the High-Level Meeting, we hope that the UN member states can reach an agreement on a document that truly considers the main points of the important report on refugees and migrants delivered by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki- moon, earlier this year. It means:
- That states commit to address the root causes of forced migration flows;
- That they acknowledge a shared responsibility ground for states, promoting multidimensional and significant support to countries of destination;
- That they place the protection of human rights of migrants and refugees in the center of all policies.
It is still to be known which direction the UN member states will give to the outcome document and to the migration policies as a matter of international cooperation at this point. In any case, we would like to register the indispensable imprint that civil society organizations are leaving in this historical moment, for the defense of the human rights of migrants and refugees in this current context of widespread vulnerability.
Given the valuable inputs that those working daily in the field can give to the discussions, we hope that the UN will further develop institutionalized means so as to reinforce civil society organizations’ participation in international forums and reflect their knowledge and practical experience in the decision process.