Civil Society, Criminalisation, and the Global Compact for Migration

Civil Society, Criminalisation, and the Global Compact for Migration 1
"We are asking you to do more and to do better to save lives and uphold human rights. The Compact can help you do this," NGOs told States on 1 July, during the UN Human Rights Council. Photo: A session of the Human Rights Council. © UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

On 1 July, the International Catholic Migration Commission joined 47 other NGOs, calling on States to do more to save lives and uphold human rights of migrants, including by recognising the role of civil society and creating an environment for its work.

The statement to the UN Human Rights Council, delivered on behalf of the group of NGOs by the International Catholic Migration Commission, read as follows:

“We are deeply concerned by widespread and growing violations of the human rights of migrants and an environment where those who seek to protect them are increasingly criminalized.

The Global Compact for Migration provides technical guidance and a cooperative framework for the implementation of existing legal commitments. It is mobilizing resources to support States in this.

We are asking you to do more and to do better to save lives and uphold human rights. The Compact can help you do this.

Civil Society is already using the Compact at regional and national level, often in partnership with States, for example:

– Civil society in Central America are developing a pilot programme to identify missing migrants to support States’ implementation of Objectives 8 and 9.

– Migrant Forum in Asia has led consultations with governments and other stakeholders throughout Asia.

– Cross-Regional Center for Refugees and Migrants has developed a baseline assessment on the GCM for the MENA region.

– The International Detention Coalition is working with States to develop a cross regional platform on alternatives to child immigration detention in line with Objective 13(h)

We believe these activities can inspire similar measures, but we need all States to create an environment that enables us to do so and we need all States to take leadership on implementation.

The human rights of migrants deserve the acknowledgement, respect, and urgent action of all of us.”

Delivered by the International Catholic Migration Commission, the statement was co-sponsored by the following ECOSOC accredited NGOs:

  1. ACT Alliance
  2. Alianza Americas
  3. Asylum Access
  4. Caritas Internationalis
  5. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  6. Congregations of St. Joseph
  7. Defence for Children International
  8. International Catholic Migration Commission
  9. International Commission of Jurists
  10. International Council of Voluntary Associations (ICVA)
  11. International Detention Coalition
  12. International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
  13. Migrant Forum in Asia
  14. Save the Children
  15. Terre des Hommes International Federation
  16. Translators without Borders
  17. Vivat International
  18. World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP)

The statement was also supported by the following NGOs and networks who do not have ECOSOC accreditation:

  1. Action Secours Ambulance (ASA)
  2. Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)
  3. Asociación Rumiñahui
  4. Bloque latinamericano y el Caribe sobre Migración
  5. Casa Monarca ayuda humanitaria al migrante
  6. Center for Migrant Advocacy, Philippines (CMA-Phils)
  7. Centro de Atención y Desarrollo Integral Migrante (CADIM Oxnard)
  8. Centro de Recursos Centroamericanos Del Norte California (CARECEN)
  9. Centro de Atención a la Familia Migrante e Indígena (CAFAMI)
  10. Civil Society Action Committee
  11. Comision de Accion Social Menonita (CASM)
  12. Destination Unknown Network
  13. Estancia del Migrante González y Martínez
  14. FM4 – Paso Libre
  15. Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho
  16. Global Coalition on Migration
  17. Institution para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI)
  18. Instituto de Estudios y Divulgación sobre Migración (INEDIM)
  19. International Presentation Association
  20. NGO Coalition on Migration
  21. Organismo Cristiano de Desarrollo Intergral de Honduras (OCDIH)
  22. Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisation (PIANGO)
  23. Plateforme des Organisations Nationales et Territoriales (Pont-Sch)
  24. Red de Mujeres del Bajío
  25. Red Internacional de Migración y Desarrollo
  26. Red Jesuita con Migrantes de América Latina y Caribe (RJM-LAC)
  27. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
  28. Solidarity Centre
  29. The Mixed Migration Centre
  30. Women in Migration Network


ICMC provides assistance and protection to vulnerable people on the move and advocates for sustainable solutions for refugees and migrants.