Civil society acting and expressing concrete solidarity with migrants

Geneva 18th December – International Migrants Day marks the adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.  An estimated 214 million persons worldwide are international migrants. 740 million are internal migrants. Children and youth represent a big share of migrants from developing countries; about one third is between 12 and 25 years old.  In the coming years the number of children and youth on the move is going to rise.

We pause to take stock of the advances and continuing challenges in realizing the rights of migrants and specifically of children on the move.  Terre des Hommes and the Destination Unknown Campaign have joined today’s #MigrantRights Campaign  organized by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants, François Crepeau and IDC.

The campaign provides a space for stakeholders from around the world to demonstrate their support for the rights of migrants, as well as to voice concerns, raise awareness, and contribute to the conversation around steps the international community must take to adequately protect migrant rights.

Key messages include :

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Francois Crepeau, and the Chair of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, Francisco Carrión Mena, urged States to separate immigration enforcement from access to public services through the implementation of ‘firewalls’, while stressing that large-scale migration is unavoidable and that human rights are for all. 

Ignacio Packer, Secretary General of Terre des Hommes, recalls the call for long-lasting solutions built on values and evidence which he delivered in October as chair for Civil Society at the Global Forum On Migration and Development.  He calls to communicate with our neighbors, wherever we are, and act daily in a way to show we reject building blocks of migration policy based on prejudice and fear, of walls, barbed wires and prisons, of stereotypes, of “us and them”.

Grant Mitchell, Director of International Detention Coalition, calls for further implementation on alternatives to immigration detention illustrated by 250 alternatives in 65 countries reported by IDC.

The United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, supported amongst others by his recent investigations on allegations of torture and abuse of 68 countries gives a clear message to states.

A statement for international migrants day from Doris Fiala, General Rapporteur for the Campaign by the Council of Europe Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons.  No child should be in a detention center”.  “I motivate States to find better solutions”.

Testimonies from Terre des Hommes colleagues in the Balkans (Pancha, Danjiela Korac-Mandic and Mark Kempe) illustrates how migration policy and its implementation must be rooted both in evidence of the real world in which we live, and in the human rights framework.

Manuel Macia, project director at Terre des Hommes presents what means for us a world that respects and protects the migrants rights.

Terre des Hommes colleagues are also working with children on the move in Sicily providing psycosocial support within the Faro project.

Eve Geddie, PICUM  Programmes Director’s contribution is on the EU Victim’s Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.  She looks at how it can be used to ensure access to justice and protection of undocumented victims of crime.