Geneva, October 25, 2023.- Víctor Genina, Policy and Advocacy Director of SIMN, at the invitation of the Civil Society Mechanism of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), participated in the discussion of the base document for the discussion of the Round Table on the rights of migrants within the framework of the 3rd round of preparatory meetings of the Forum, to be held in January 2024.
In his interventions, Dr. Genina referred to the following points in order to enrich the base document for the discussions that will take place in January:
• In relation to the lack of channels to emigrate regularly and the restrictive migration policies that various states implement to try to counteract the flows of irregular migrants, it was noted that, in line with the recent report of the UN Secretary General on human rights, human rights of migrants, the phenomenon of “externalization of borders” had to be incorporated as one that forces transit countries, in exchange for meager benefits, to contain in their territory as much as possible the arrival of migrants at the borders of destination countries.
• He also proposed, in the face of the increase in threats and actions that seek to punish or intimidate organizations that respond to humanitarian needs and provide support to people in situations of human mobility, that the language that denounces the criminalization of migrants be strengthened and “ensure that organizations and individuals that support migrants are not criminalized or punished for doing so,” as also read in the Secretary General’s report.
• Called for the document to recover and reflect the notion of “essential workers” when referring to migrant workers, precisely because this fact was recognized and admitted during the COVID-19 pandemic and precisely represents a safeguard against attempts at marginalization and exclusion of migrant workers.
• He noted that the number of dead migrants on the different migratory routes, according to the Missing Migrants Project of the International Organization for Migration, had to be updated, since the figure had already reached 59,253 identified dead migrants (the document reflected 56,000). https://missingmigrants.iom.int/data
• Finally, in relation to the guiding questions for the discussions in January, he noted, echoing the need for the participation of migrants in the initiatives that states adopt on immigration matters, reflected in the document, he proposed the following question-guide: “How can substantive participation of relevant actors, particularly migrants, be ensured in the design and implementation of migration policies to, in this way, reduce the deficits in their implementation and accountability?”
This question, as is evident, seeks to highlight the widely accepted need to count on the different actors (civil society organizations, academia and the private sector, but especially the migrants themselves) to design and implement humane migration policies, respectful of the rights of both migrants and host communities and effective.