The global Compact for Migration has far reaching implications for us all.
On 19 September 2016, representatives within the United Nations General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants outlining their commitment to develop a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, “…the 193 UN Member States recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level.” In other words, global migration governance.
So, what does this mean? According to The United Nations, a framework will be developed that Member States abide by, “While States retain the sovereign discretion to determine which non-nationals may enter and stay in their territories, consistent with the requirements of international law, there is great scope for improving international cooperation on migration”.
There are four key elements to this vision, (1) protecting the rights of migrants; (2) facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration; (3) reducing the incidence and impacts of forced and irregular migration; and (4) addressing mobility consequences of natural and human-induced disasters.
The journey towards its implementation is, as you would expect, a complex process. There are four phases, (1) Consultation (2) Stocktaking (3) Negotiations (4) Implementation.
Whilst this development is taking place, individuals continue to move. In our series of the top ten countries most accepting of those who migrate, Canada is fourth. Speaking both the English and the French language, it offers schooling in both languages. Children can attend kindergarten at the age of 4 or 5 before beginning compulsory primary/elementary education at the age of 6 where they remain until entering secondary education between the ages of 12 to 18 years. Students complete a secondary school diploma before leaving. School age bands differ slightly from province/territory to province/territory, so it is necessary to check. Following secondary education, students can then progress on to post-secondary studies to gain vocational and or higher-level qualifications for employment and or university study.
In October 2017, the International Organisation for Migration submitted a supplemental response to the UN Secretary General’s Report on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: Actionable Commitments. Section 3 of the document outlines the importance of enhancing the socio-economic wellbeing of migrants and society.
“Welcoming newcomers and helping them adapt to their new homes results in enormous benefits to both migrants and the communities they join. Measures that allow migrants to work, go to school, obtain health and social services, and have their family members join them maximize the contributions that migrants make and reduce instances of discrimination and xenophobia, which in turn fosters mutual understanding and respect, social cohesion and political stability.”
There are some interesting parallels between these sentiments and the approach adopted by the most accepting countries in the world for those who migrate, identified by the Gallup World Poll 2016-2017.
When all is said and done, it is so important that we get involved, take responsibility for ourselves, support those within our sphere of influence and shape our own destiny. If you sit back on your today and waste it, you will have squandered your tomorrow and that of others.
Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd
Lesley Shepperson / ANA-ZongoNews / firstname.lastname@example.org