International Migration is planning a special issue on the Global Compacts on Refugees and on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Elizabeth Ferris and Susan Martin are the Guest Editors. Please find below the Call for Papers. If you have questions or wish to submit an abstract, please contact the guest editors.
Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita of International Migration
CALL FOR ARTICLES
Global Compacts on Refugees and on Migration
Special Issue of International Migration
The Global Compacts on Refugees and on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration are direct outcomes of the September 2016 High Level Plenary Meeting on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants (HLP), held in New York City. Both compacts aim to improve international cooperation in addressing population movements, but the modalities and more specific purposes of the compacts differed in essential ways. Annex 1/Para 18 of the New York Declaration, the outcome document of the HLP, states that the objective of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) “would be to ease pressures on the host countries involved, to enhance refugee self- reliance, to expand access to third- country solutions and to support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.” The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) “would set out a range of principles, commitments and understandings among Member States regarding international migration in all its dimensions.” (Annex 2/Para 2).
UNHCR was assigned responsibility for the GCR, in consultation with “all relevant stakeholders.” The resulting compact would seek to promote responsibility-sharing for refugees and host countries in order to prevent where possible, respond more effectively, and find solutions for those who have required international protection and assistance. It builds upon and is to be consistent with existing international refugee law and broader human rights law. The GCR would incorporate the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) that was endorsed in the HLP. The CRRF was described as primarily an operational plan for a more comprehensive and coordinated response to refugee situations. Consistent with the NY Declaration, UNHCR established pilot CRRF projects in a number of countries and then consulted with stakeholders about lessons learned from the pilots in order to refine the approach over a two- year period. In 2017, UNHCR held thematic discussions and a “joint stocktaking” in which states and others participated. The zero draft of the GCR was released on January 31, 2018, and six formal consultations in Geneva were slated to take place from February to July 2018. Following the first consultative meeting with states in February, the First Draft of the GCR was published on March 9. It will be followed by one or more drafts until a final draft is completed in mid-2018. The GCR will be included in the High Commissioner’s report to the General Assembly in 2018, and considered in conjunction with the GA’s annual resolution approving UNHCR’s program for the following year.
The GCM is part of a process underway for several years to build greater consensus around a set of principles and practices that will improve management of migration and protection of the rights of migrants. It is also meant to contribute to global governance “by presenting a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on migrants and human mobility.” (Annex 2/Para 2). As such, negotiations would involve a state-led process that would assess a broad set of issues; its goal, in the words of one of the state co-facilitators, is to create a “migration ecosystem” in the international sphere. The GCM would represent the first significant attempt at an overall international approach to migration. It therefore called for a state-led process that would identify fundamental principles and specific areas for policy development, not improvement in operations.
The modalities for negotiation of the GCM were agreed upon in Resolution 71/280, adopted by the General Assembly on 6 April 2017. The President of the General Assembly (PGA) appointed Mexico and Switzerland as co-facilitators. The modalities identified three phases. The first was preparatory, aimed at informing states’ understanding of the issues to be addressed in the GCM, particularly through informal thematic sessions on specific issues, such as the rights of migrants, drivers of migration, irregular migration, legal pathways, contributions of migrants towards development, etc. In addition, consultations took place, generally in coordination with existing consultative bodies, such as the GFMD, regional migration conferences and the UN regional economic commissions.
The second phase was stocktaking, which occurred at a conference in Mexico in December 2017. The Secretary-General produced a report with findings and recommendations, which was published on 12 December 2017. Entitled ‘Making Migration Work for All’, it called on states to “maximize the benefits of migration rather than obsess about minimizing risks.” It then set out the main areas for international cooperation, focusing on protecting the rights of migrants, strengthening the rule of law by expanding pathways to legal admissions, addressing legitimate security concerns, and addressing the reasons migrants move out of desperation rather than choice.
The final stage of the process is the negotiation one when states review drafts presented by the co-facilitators. These negotiations take place monthly, beginning in February and continuing through July at the NY headquarters of the United Nations. The negotiations themselves were to be open, transparent and inclusive in order to promote and strengthen the ownership of the member states in the final product. Joint responsibility was vested in the Secretariat of the United Nations, including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on International Migration, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for assisting the co-facilitators. The GCM will be adopted at a special summit meeting in Morocco, to be held in December 2018.
The Special Issue aims to provide a scholarly assessment of both the process and outcomes of both compacts. The co-editors, Elizabeth Ferris and Susan Martin, are interested in articles that delve deeply into one or more issues within each compact as well as ones that compare treatment of one or more issues across the two compacts. We would also welcome articles on gaps between the two compacts—i.e., issues that fall through the cracks of the two documents and are inadequately addressed in either or both. Analysis of next steps needed in implementation of the compacts would also be of interest.
Among the issues to be covered in the special issue are:
* Historical antecedents to the global compacts, including the role of the High Level Dialogues, Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), High Level Plenary Meeting on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, and other global consultative mechanisms had in paving the way for the global compacts
* Role of regional consultative processes in the lead up, negotiations and implementation of one or both global compacts
* Role of civil society, private sector and other key stakeholders in the negotiations and implementation of one or both global compacts
* Assessment of the ways in which vulnerability and resilience of migrants and refugees are addressed in one or both global compacts
* Assessment of the balance between rights of migrants and state interest in effective border control in the GCM
* Treatment of smuggling and/or trafficking in the global compacts
* Institutional architecture and other mechanisms put in place as follow-up mechanisms in one or both global compacts
* Implications of the global compacts (especially the GCM) for future norm setting and the development of international legal frameworks to enhance protection of migrants
* Extent to which the GCM breaks new ground in offering safe, orderly and regular pathways for migration
* Extent to which the GCM breaks new ground in enhancing the collection and use of migration statistics
* Extent to which either or both compacts break new ground in improving responses to mixed migration
* Responsibility-sharing for refugees in the GCR—will it make a difference in addressing the needs and interests of refugees or host communities?
* Protection of refugees—how is it articulated in the GCR; will the GCR enhance protection?
* Internally Displaced Persons – why they were excluded – what should be done?
* The GCR’s engagement of development actors with displaced populations—is it a game-changer?
* The GCM and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) –what if any impact will the GCM have on achievement of the SDGs? Assessment of the extent to which one or both compacts address the needs and interests of host governments/communities
* Refugee resettlement and humanitarian admissions in the GCR
* Refugee Self-reliance: a 4th solution?
* Assessment of the treatment of detention in both compacts
* Assessment of the treatment of children in both compacts
* Assessment of the treatment of gender in both compacts
* Assessment of the treatment of climate change and other forms of environmental migration and
displacement in both compacts
* Regional case studies demonstrating relevance (or not) of GCR/GCM on the ground.
These are not meant to be exhaustive, merely illustrative of the type of articles that we hope to publish in the Special Issue. To be considered for publication, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, describing the topic, methodology and preliminary findings of the proposed article. Also submit a CV, not to exceed 4 pages. These materials should be submitted no later than June 30, 2018 to the co-editors at [log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask] . All authors who will be requested to submit articles will be informed of the decision no later than July 30 2018. The articles themselves will be due in February 2019 and will be submitted through the International Migration Scholar One submission system which is available through the journal's website.
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