– Highlights the need to respect fundamental human rights in the treatment of migrants
Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Lewis Garseedah Brown, II, has called on the international community not to perceive migration as a threat to human development, but rather as a form of development.
Providing Africa’s perspective on the zero draft of the ‘Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,’ Ambassador Brown said the continent believes that integration and development are unthinkable without the mobility of people, goods, and services.
“Migrants should not be seen as objects. They are real human beings. And they are also agents who can contribute in accelerating socioeconomic development in countries of origin and countries of destination,” he said.
According to a dispatch from Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Ambassador Brown, who currently heads the African Group of Ambassadors to the UN, proposed a full recognition of the positive role of migration in the global economy at the international and national policymaking levels.
He further proposed the construction of an agenda for fair migration which emphasizes the respect for the fundamental rights of migrants and offers real opportunities for decent work and integration.
He observed that migrants are often subjected to discriminatory and racist actions and policies including mass expulsion and persecution, and called for the effective application of norms enshrined in human rights instruments, and ratification and enforcement of instruments relevant to the treatment of migrants.
Ambassador Brown stressed the need for the proper governing of labor migration to ensure that human resource investment constitutes brain gain and not brain drain.
“We believe that when labor migration is properly governed, fair and effective, it can deliver many benefits and opportunities for migrant workers and their families and it will benefit the host communities. This is why the Global Compact must ensure that human resource investments constitute a brain gain with positive dividends for the migrants as opposed to a brain drain from which the host country will benefit against the country of origin.”
Ambassador Brown concluded by assuring Africa’s readiness to play its part in addressing migration issues but cautioned that implementation of the Global Compact will require optimal utilization of existing financial instruments as the continent will need significant financial and human resources.
The zero draft of the ‘Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’ envisions collective cooperation on international migration and proposes a people-centered approach that is gender and child-sensitive, and takes into account issues of human rights, sustainable development, national sovereignty, and due process among others.