“Put migrants at the centre of our debate” says Global Migration Group at the UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development

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New York, 4 October 2013 --- The Global Migration Group (GMG) calls for the protection and realization of the rights of all migrants in order to make migration a safe, productive and enriching experience for migrants and their families.

“The development potential of migration cannot be fulfilled without the protection of the human and labour rights of all migrants, regardless of their status,” says the GMG on the occasion of the UN General Assembly High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development on 3 and 4 October in New York.  

The current Chair of the GMG, Director General William Lacy Swing of the International Organization for Migration, will address the UN General Assembly later on Friday.

The GMG underlines that migrants are the main protagonists in the migration-development debate, and as such should be at the centre of deliberations at the High-Level Dialogue.

“Migrants are not commodities or factors of production. They are mothers and fathers seeking a better life for their families. They are young people using their talents to realize their dreams and ambitions. They are individuals trying to escape discrimination, poverty and conflict. They are our neighbours, relatives, friends, employers, or colleagues”.

The GMG hopes to challenge the participants at the High-Level Dialogue to imagine a future in which migrants’ rights are better protected and realized, in which migration policy and development programming is better connected, and in which States and others cooperate closely on migration matters, arguing that these are essential conditions to improve the human development impact of migration for migrants, countries of origin and countries of destination.

Greater opportunities for regular migration, action against exploitation, abuse and discrimination against migrants, and a commitment to migration as part of a new global partnership for development are among the essential ingredients for improved, rights-based governance of international migration, according to the GMG.

In a separate position paper on “International Migration and Development”, the GMG put a set of practical recommendations to the High-Level Dialogue, as well as concrete targets to measure progress on the key issues under discussion at the two-day gathering of national decision-makers from around the world.

Also on Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will open a side event organized by the GMG to discuss the work, priorities and future directions of the Group with participants at the High-Level Dialogue.   

For more information, please contact Niurka Piñeiro NPINEIRO@iom.int.  

The Global Migration Group (GMG) is an inter-agency group bringing together 16 heads of agencies to promote the wider application of all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration, and to encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approaches to the issue of international migration.

To read the GMG position paper on International Migration and Development and to find out more about the Group’s work, visit http://www.globalmigrationgroup.org/