Global Compact for Migration

Take a glimpse into the very first comprehensive intergovernmental agreement for cooperation on migration-related issues

Migrants of yesterday and today

“Migrants of yesterday and today” – In a world ever on the move, our duty is to provide help and protection to migrants (source: Wikipedia)

By Saionara König-Reis – The Member States of the United Nations have recently agreed on the final version of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). This is the first time that the international community agrees on a comprehensive framework for management and cooperation on issues related to migration. Whereas the final draft has been approved on July 13 at the UN Headquarters in New York, the document will only be formally adopted at the Intergovernmental Conference on 10 and 11 December 2018 in Morocco.

Civil society’s commitment in designing the GCM

Together with the NGO Committee on Migration (NGO CoM), for the past two years Dianova was active in advocating for a GCM that protects the rights and dignity of migrants. The final document represents a balance between the different positions of member states, but it certainly sets important standards and represents a historical step towards a more respectful and coordinated management of migration.

Aiming at facilitating the dissemination of the issues covered by the GCM, the NGO CoM – which Dianova International is now a part of the Executive Committee – has launched “A Glance at the Global Compact for Migration”. The graphic document can be downloaded below:

The GCM is

  • An inter-governmentally negotiated agreement prepared under the auspices of the United Nations and organized under 23 Objectives.
  • Aimed at improving cooperation on international migration.
  • Not legally binding, but consistent with human rights treaties and fully respectful of States’ sovereignty.
  • Covers all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive way.
  • Rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aimed at maximizing the potential of migration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Negotiated between 2016 and 2018 to be formally adopted by the Intergovernmental Conference in December 2018.


  • To be implemented by Governments in cooperation and partnership with migrants and all relevant stakeholders.

Follow-up and Review:

  • An International Migration Review Forum shall take place every four years beginning in 2022 with the participation of all relevant stakeholders.
  • The Forum will discuss and share progress on implementation at all levels and will approve an inter-governmentally agreed Progress Declaration.

Member States’ Commitment

Protect the Human Rights of all Migrants by:

  • Objective 6: Reviewing employment recruitment mechanisms to guarantee that they are fair and ethical
  • Objective 13: Using immigration detention only as a measure of last resort, and working towards alternatives
  • Objective 15: Providing access to basic services for migrants regardless of their migration status
  • Objective 16: Empowering migrants to become active members of society and promoting mutual respect and understanding between migrants and receiving communities
  • Objective 17: Eliminating all forms of discrimination and related intolerance against all migrants
  • Objective 18: Investing in the identification and development of migrants’ skills and qualifications.

Reduced Forced Migration by:

  • Objective 2: Minimizing factors that compel people to leave their country of origin
  • Objective 5: Enhancing pathways for regular migration
  • Objective 19: Creating conditions for migrants and diasporas to fully contribute to sustainable development
  • Objective 20: Improving the remittance transfer process and migrants’ access to financial institutions.
  • Objective 22: Making social security entitlements and earned benefits portable
  • Objective 23: Strengthening international cooperation and global partnerships for safe, orderly and regular migration

Improve Migration Management by:

  • Objective 1: Collecting and utilizing accurate and disaggregated data
  • Objective 3: Providing accurate and timely information at all stages of migration
  • Objective 4: Ensuring that all migrants, including stateless people, have proof of legal identity and adequate documentation
  • Objective 7: Reducing vulnerabilities of migrants in countries of origin, transit and destination
  • Objective 12: Increasing legal certainty and predictability of migration procedures
  • Objective 14: Strengthening consular protection and assistance

Enhance the Safety of Migration by:

  • Objective 8: Saving lives and preventing migrants’ deaths and injuries
  • Objective 9: Intensifying joint efforts to prevent and counter smuggling of migrants
  • Objective 10: Acting to prevent, combat and eradicate trafficking in persons
  • Objective 11: Promoting bilateral and regional cooperation to manage national borders in a coordinated manner
  • Objective 21: Facilitating safe and dignified return and readmission, as well as sustainable reintegration