Statement Delivered by the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) at the IOM International Dialogue on Migration

During the International Dialogue on Migration, organized by the International Organization for Migration, Víctor Genina, Director of Development and Policy at SIMN, delivered a statement in the panel “Building resilient and peaceful cities and communities”. He denounced the externalization of borders and migratory and refugee procedures, as well as the criminalization of migrants, as the root causes of the growing numbers of migrants´ deaths, including those of the migrants in the migration detention center in Ciudad Juárez, México.

New York, March 31st, 2023  – The text of the statement delivered by Víctor Genina:

Thank you very much madame Daniels and all the panelists,

The Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) is an organization member of the Action Committee on Migration, the NGO Committee on Migration and also a member of La Red Clamor in Latin America.

With more than 135 years of experience, the Scalabrinian congregation has worked to benefit both people on the move and the receiving communities, based on a simple but effective premise: the human encounter between someone who arrives and someone who receives is mutually beneficial and enriching for both of them, that is how peaceful and harmonious communities are built.

Because of this, we take this opportunity to express our consternation on what happened in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, four days ago. First of all, we wish to express our deepest condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims.

Secondly, as many other organizations, in the recent past we have expressed our strongest opposition to the externalization of borders, the outsourcing of migration and refugee procedures, as well as the criminalization of migrants. These are the three main factors behind the death of 40 migrants in the migration detention center of Juárez.

Thirdly, We support the call of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to the Government of Mexico to conduct “a thorough investigation into this tragic event” to know its causes. Transparency and accountability are of paramount importance to avoid impunity in this criminal case. Also, we demand to stop arbitrary detention for people on the move as recommended by the Committee on the Rights of Migrants, a clear expression on how migrants are criminalized.

Finally, I call the attention of all states and international officials on an extremely worrisome trend: migrants are dying, every time in larger numbers, either drowned in the ocean, lost in the desert, killed in their journey or as now, burned alive or suffocated in a fire in a detention center. According to IOM, more than 900 migrants have died only in the first three months of this year and more than 22,000 since the adoption of the Global Compact in 2018.

As worrisome as this trend is, it is maybe more so the big disconnection between what takes place here, at the UN, and what is happening on the ground in many countries. A growing number of migrants dying cannot be an expression of progress on the implementation of the Global Compact, and without concrete actions to prevent more deaths, like seriously expanding the regular pathways of migration, we won´t achieve any progress on the implementation of the Global Compact.

Thank you