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Global Compact on Migration December 2018 - can a people-centred approach solve the migrant crisis?

York, Sheona (2019) Global Compact on Migration December 2018 - can a people-centred approach solve the migrant crisis? In: Socio-Legal Studies Association conference 3-5 April 2019, 3-5 April 2019, Leeds. (Unpublished) (KAR id:73524)



On 11 December 2018 a UN conference celebrated the adoption of the “First-Ever Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration”. This Compact’s strategic intention is to confine global migration to regulated and controlled flows.

In this Compact, the majority of the world’s nation states have put their names to what amounts to a detailed description of what social, political, cultural and legal life should be like, in every part of the world, albeit seen through the prism of “migration as a global problem”. Sustainability policies are directed to assist ‘sending’ countries develop ‘resilience strategies’ to protect against slow and fast-acting disasters, and provide economic, social, health and educational programmes sufficient to ensure that their nationals are not impelled to emigrate in order to seek a better life. Countries both of ‘transit’ and ‘destination’ are encouraged to provide accommodation, subsistence, health care, educational and work opportunities for migrants, as well as reducing bureaucratic barriers to applying for visas. ‘Destination’ countries are encouraged to facilitate family reunion for temporary migrants, reduce precariousness, and encourage integration.

What is being proposed here is effectively the most highly-regulated and public-spirited management of the global capitalist system to provide a healthy, safe and fulfilling life for everyone, though here with the spotlight on migrants. Yet there is no mention at all of politics, economics, religion, or culture, (and only a bare whisper of a reference to climate change) and therefore no recognition or assessment of the different, ideas, beliefs, forces and processes at work in the world which drive migration.

Drawing on my own casework for asylum-seeker clients from one ‘sending’ country (Eritrea) and one ‘transit country’ (Italy) and for asylum and family migrants in one ‘destination country’ (the UK), I examine whether the Compact’s application of a people-centred approach to all migrants can transcend the forces of global capitalism.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Speech)
Uncontrolled keywords: Migrant crisis safe, orderly and regular migration sending countries transit countries destination countries people-centred approach global capitalism political responses to migration populism
Subjects: K Law
K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Sheona York
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 14:27 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:03 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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