The Global Compact on Migration Needs Implementation and Accountability Mechanisms, U.S. Catholics Say

Geneva, 28 May 2018 - A group of U.S. Catholic organizations jointly request a stronger document which lives up to its promise of achieving a positive impact for migrants around the world.

Refugees and migrants at the congregation of Josefinas Sisters in MexicoFaith-based organizations play a unique role in serving migrants and refugees. Photo: Refugees and migrants from El Salvador and Honduras at the CAFEMIN shelter of the Congregation of Josefinas Sisters in Mexico City. © UNHCR/Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo The Global Compact on Migration currently being negotiated by UN Member States should create a well-financed capacity-building framework to facilitate the implementation of States’ commitments, as well as a monitoring system to hold States accountable.

The request for both implementation and accountability mechanisms is a key message of the statement issued on 7 May by the U.S. Catholic Working Group on the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration.

On border management, the statement requests that destination countries stop using deterrence mechanisms to prevent people from crossing their borders. The Global Compact should specifically prohibit practices such as interdiction, return, detention, family separation, push backs, criminal prosecution of irregular migration, the closing of borders and conditional aid agreements.

The U.S. Catholic Working Group urges States negotiating the Global Compact to foster the role of faith-based organizations by explicitly mentioning this role in the document. These organizations play a unique role in serving migrants and refugees and can reach far beyond the ability of single governments. The Global Compact should recognize this fact in the Preamble and the Implementation sections, the organizations argue.

The U.S. Catholic Working Group on the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration includes Catholic Charities-USA, Catholic Relief Service, Center for Migration Studies, U.S. Liaison Office of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S., Jesuit Refugee Services/USA and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services.