Migration in Focus – Geneva – Berlin

The Third Informal Thematic Session in preparation for the negotiation of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration took place in Geneva on 19-20 June, 2017.  This session focused on International co-operation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.  Cecilie Kern from the GSIJP office represented us in Geneva and from there to Berlin for the Global Forum on Migration and Development.  See Full Report

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Statement from the Floor in Geneva

Mercy Global Action

Another Interesting Perspective from Mercy Global Action

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Migration and Development Civil Society Network

Statement on International Migration…

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NGO Com on Migration  Misión de México ONU  Switzerland at the UN    IOM        GCM

Representative of the GSIJP Team and Mercy International Association team in Geneva for the thematic consultation on migration.   Today Cecilie Kern delivered our joint statement on behalf of both organizations.

 

Read the statement GCM Thematic Session 3 – Informal Stakeholder Dialogue Statement Final

Some snippets:    …vital to maximizing the positive benefits of migration and reducing vulnerabilities for people on the move.    …policies are human rights-based, and therefore universal, and applicable to all migrants, regardless of status.  …border management policies must be human rights-based and gender and age-sensitive. Authorities, including border agents, police, military and other security forces, must be held accountable for human rights violations, including exploitation and corruption.  … provide all migrant women workers with safe, orderly and regular channels for migration that guarantee human rights, full labor rights and social protection for them and their families … Families should never be separated by policy enforcement, and children, including unaccompanied and separated children, should never be placed into detention or criminalized for their migratory status or that of their parents …

Congratulations Cecilie and Colleen – well done!   Today is ….

Refugee Day

Migration – 3rd Thematic Session on International Cooperation

June 19 and 20 at the UN in Geneva the 3rd Thematic Session on Migration is in progress.  The theme is ‘International cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.’  The GSIJP Office is represented by Cecilie Kern.  She is accompanied by Colleen Cloonan of the Mercy Global Action at the UN.   Cecilie will delver a joint statement on behalf of both organizations.  The statement is a response to the Issues Brief #3 and supplemented by  experiences from Theresa Symons (MDO Office – Asia Pacific), Magdalena Saavedra from the Philippines and Mercy Global Action office at the UN.

Clare Nolan did an article for Global Sisters Report  in January 2017 based on the experiences of Theresa and Magdalena following the Global Forum on Migration in Dhaka, Bangledesh.

Colleen Cloonan, Cecilie Kern and Winifred Doherty 

Tomorrow June 20th is World Refugee Day 2017.  A separate compact is being prepared to address the issue of Refugees.  Read this article  “Crisis in South Sudan, world’s fastest growing refugee emergency.”

We express appreciation to Sr Regina Hanko of the Province of Austria-Switzerland and Czech Republic for preparing the prayer this month.   English  French and Spanish     See more at Spanish French and English

Here is another prayer in English that has come in my e-mail –  World Refugee Day 2017 Prayer Service

According to the United Nation there are an estimated 58 million people displaced worldwide, 2.3 million asylum seekers, and 34 million people have been forcibly displaced within their own countries. António Guterres announced “These truly are alarming numbers. They reflect individual suffering on a huge scale and they reflect the difficulties of the international community in preventing conflicts and promoting timely solutions for them. The time is NOW to show that the global public stands with refugees.” (Facts and figures: UNHCR assessed April 2016) Taken from the prayer service prepared by ‘Becoming Neighours, Toronto’  See more  

 

Migration in Focus

On Monday and Tuesday, May 22nd and 23rd at the UN in New York, we had the second thematic session on “Addressing drivers of migration, including adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters and human-made crises, through protection and assistance, sustainable development, poverty eradication, conflict prevention and resolution.”  Good Shepherd was substantively engaged in this session.  Winifred was invited to be a respondent following the first panel presentation.  Cecilie made a statement during the informal dialogue with the co-facilitators – the Ambassadors from Mexico and Switzerland to the United Nations.

Migration Winifred  Response to panel 1 on Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication:   English  Espanol

Winifred towards the end around marker 2:49   Webcast

Migation CecilieStatement during the informal dialogue with co-facilitators   English  Espanol

An issue brief for this two day session was issued ahead of the session.  It is a document well worth reading …Issue Brief #2  but only available in English. There is a Spanish and French version of the official website but not all document and events are covered there Official Website

The first thematic session was held in Geneva and addressed the human rights of all migrants.  The thematic sessions prepare the way for an inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations to cover all dimension of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. This is the sort of information that we wished we had when attending our congregational chapter.  In actual fact 2 compacts are being negotiated, the second is on Refugees.  These are specific responses to the UN Summit of September 19th 2016 when a declaration was adopted expressing the political will  of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale.  The Declaration is referred to as the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants.  It is available in the 6 languages of the UN  HERE

The series of 6 informal thematic session will gather substantive input and concrete recommendations to inform the development of the global compact on migration. The next session is in Geneva  June 19th and 20th on  ‘international cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.’ Cecile from NY will attend and will travel to Berlin for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) June 28th to 30th.  Sr Mary Magdalena Z. Saavedra, from the Philippines has been invited to Berlin for this session of the GFMD.  If you remember she attended previous one in Dakar with Theresa Symons.

The 4th, 5th and 6th informal thematic sessions are in New York, Vienna and Geneva respectively. See more  I hope to attend the session in Vienna addressing human trafficking in early September.

I wish to express thanks to Magdalena, Theresa Symons, Clare Nolan, Marta Iris. Georgette Tannoury and Cristina Duranti for their collaboration in preparing for ‘Good Shepherd’ responses for the 2nd Thematic Session.   This is what we need – more input from the grassroots.  You can send an email or just make your comments at the bottom of this article.

Lastly you can get a flavour of the thematic sessions as recordings of the live webcast are available.  Unfortunately the informal dialogue with the co-facilitators was not webcast.   Link to Webcast sessions

The 4th Session  presents a summary of the previous panels – do listen to the thematic expert Binod Khadria around marker 28th …  wish list, reinventing the wheel and action orientated approaches.

 

UNICEF’s Report ‘A child is a child: Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation’ English, Spanish and French

French UNICEF                                                                  Lee ahora

UNICEF Report English Read the Report

Spanish UnicefLire maintenant

FAst Facts

Action Agenda

Follow up on Global Forum on Migration and Development

On this International Migrants Day I am sharing the report of Theresa Symons and Magdalena Saavedra.  There is a call to action for Good Shepherds around the world. How are you going to respond?  Share your ideas in the comments box.

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Good Shepherd Representatives at the GFMD

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Sr. Magdalena Saavedra from the Centre of Overseas Workers, Davao, Philippines and Theresa Symons from MDO Asia Pacific, represented Good Shepherd at the recent Civil Society Programme for Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 8-9 December.  There were about 300 participants at the civil society forum.

This was followed by Common Space between civil society and governments on 9 December and the GFMD Summit for governments from 10-12 December.

Focus of the civil society forum

The theme for civil society programme was “Time for Action: Doing rights-based governance of migration and development in our communities and across borders.”

Robust discussions were held at the plenary debates and parallel working sessions which focused on four action-oriented themes:

  • Doing protection of migrant workers
  • Doing protection of migrant on the move
  • Doing inclusive development
  • Doing global governance better

Outcome recommendations broadly centered around various ways of implementing people-centered, needs first, rights-based policies on migration and human development; with civil society working with governments and businesses.

The recommendations will influence the development of a governance framework on migration called the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, Regular Migration, which is expected to be finalized by 2018 to be adopted by UN member states.

Our learning experiences

Magdalena and Theresa shared that it was a privilege for them to attend the civil society forum.  It was an opportunity to network with participants coming from different organizations, engage in conversations on good practices, listen to different perspectives on migration and learn about issues affecting migrants in other countries.

These are some of their insights and reflections in relation to the Good Shepherd Congregation:

  • Good Shepherd worldwide have extensive grassroots activities in sending as well as host countries. We play critical roles in educating and empowering our program participants on the rights of migrants
  • It is not enough to just be doing grassroots activities on migration. It is also important to have a working knowledge of policies, statements and guidelines on migration so that we can shape our programs to influence systemic changes locally, regionally and globally.
  • The needs of migrants have evolved in complexity which cannot be addressed by a sole organization. To increase our effectiveness in mission, we need to network and collaborate across borders as Good Shepherd agencies and with other NGOs, faith based groups, civil society organizations, governments and businesses.
  • A large bulk of migrants (regular and irregular) are women and children, it is a must for the Congregation to strengthen its response to the plight of the migrants in the local, regional and global level. As an international Congregation, more concrete and collective action has to be done (pro-active response to our broad directions).

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Links to the following important websites related to the GFMD:

  1.  Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) http://www.gfmd.org
  2. GFMD  Civil Society Days MADE Migration and Development Civil Society Network 
  3. The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants  New York Declaration in 6 languages
  4. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Sustainable Development Goals

In the picture our representatives with Eva Richter from NGO Committee on Migration in New York.       (Submitted by Theresa and Magdalena)

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With some of the participants and Undersecretary Ambassador Jose S. Brillantes Chairman of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers,  Pathma Krishnan Regional Coordinator of Education International-Asia Pacific, Theresa Symons Good Shepherd Congregation MDO-Asia Pacific, Mel Nuqui of Dawn – Executive Director (courtesy of Magdalena)

 

Sunday, December 18 International Migrants Day

In the liturgy of Advent from December 17 to 24 we pray the O Antiphons – biblical expressions of longing for the coming of God.  I invite you today to joint in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are migrants and refugees throughout the world praying ‘come to our rescue.’ In the O Antiphons for today there is reference to Moses, the one who rescued the people when they were slaves in Egypt.   Read Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s reflection for the day.   Secretary-General Tells States to Mark International Migrants Day by Rejecting Intolerance, Discrimination, Xenophobic Rhetoric.

ban_ki-moon_portraitSome quotes from Secretary General  ‘to add insult to injury, we have witnessed the rise of populist movements that seek to alienate and expel migrants and refugees and to blame them for various ills of society.

Yet, within this turbulence, we also find rays of hope, with concerned citizens and communities opening their arms and hearts. We have also seen a promising international response, culminating with the New York Declaration adopted in September at the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants. It is now crucial that Governments honour and build on their commitments to govern large movements of refugees and migrants in a way that is compassionate, people-centred, gender-responsive and rooted in fundamental human rights.’  

The bold print is mine for emphasis.  This parallels our Congregational Direction Statement ‘As mission partners (lay and sisters) we struggled to find a way to address global issues. We identified as the most pressing needs of today as poverty, human trafficking, migration, refugees, gender inequality, violence against women and children and religious intolerance.   Being the ‘Moses/Miriam’ leader is indeed happening in our Congregation.  See this article from Lebanon  Solidarity in Action or this video from the Philippines Buhay na Ganap -subtitles in English)

Secretary General continues ‘Every migrant is a human being with human rights. Protecting and upholding the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their status, is a foundational element of the New York Declaration.’   “The motto of the dispensary in the words of the director, Antoinette Assaff, RGS in Lebanon is “Religion is for God. The dispensary is for everybody.”

Secretary General calls for a sustainable response to migration needs to address the drivers of forced and precarious movements of people. These include poverty, food insecurity, armed conflict, natural disasters, climate change and environmental degradation, poor governance, persistent inequalities and violations of economic, social, civil, political or cultural rights.’

The vision of Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is of a ‘world of peace, prosperity, dignity and opportunity for all.’  This is our vision too!

Oped_OHCHR_Al_Hussein_300x200The High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid is unrelenting in his call for human rights of all migrants and refugees. “On the occasion of International Migrants Day, 18 December, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is featuring the following stories to highlight the Office’s work to safeguard and promote the human rights of migrants and refugees. More people than ever are on the move and the challenges raised by large-scale movements of refugees and migrants fuel our call for a renewed global commitment to uphold and protect the human rights, safety and dignity of migrants and refugees.  Read more  including spotlight on human rights of migrants in wake of Calais camp eviction.

On December 10th The Human Rights Commissioner called on everyone to “Stand up for someone’s rights today”  Let us stand up for the rights of all migrants and refugees as we pray ‘come to our rescue.’

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