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Global Compact for Migration

Topics covered:

  1. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  2. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Global Compact for Migration


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Global compact for migration- highlights.
  • For Mains: Need for a global compact and the pattern of migration worldwide.


Context: The global compact on migration was adopted recently at an intergovernmental conference in Marrakech, Morocco by 164 UN Member States. Alongside, the UN also launched the Migration Network to support the compact’s implementation at country level.


About the Marrakech Compact on Migration:

In the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted in September 2016, the General Assembly decided to develop a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) sets out a common, comprehensive approach to international migration.

The GCM is a voluntary, non-binding document that introduces no additional obligations to states. It is a global agreement setting out a common framework, shared principles and best practices on international migration.

It aims at cooperation between states and promotes measures to strengthen regular migration pathways, to tackle irregular migration, and to protect human rights of migrants among other objectives.

  • The compact includes 23 objectives and a set of possible actions for each one, from which governments can draw in responding to the issue.
  • Notably, the Global Compact establishes a United Nations mechanism allowing Governments and companies to contribute technical, financial and human resources for implementing it.
  • The global compact is framed consistent with target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which member States committed to cooperate internationally to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration.



The US quit negotiations early on, in December 2017, and was followed by Hungary seven months later. Dominican Republic, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia also refused to sign the document.


Why is it being opposed?

  • States with a restrictive migration agenda, such as Hungary, consider the symbolic act of approving the GCM as a sign that they are promoting migration.
  • Those that have rejected it fear it will turn into common practice, or even common law. While not legally binding, it should be a politically guiding framework, which sets out ground rules for the long term.
  • Some states that have rejected the GCM are especially worried about human rights references within the document. In their view, an emphasis on human rights contradicts what matters for them: securing borders.


Need for a global compact:

Over 250 million migrants worldwide account for 3% of the world’s entire population, but contribute 10% of the global gross domestic production (GDP). Migrants remittance is huge contributor to their home countries’ development.


Sources: the hindu.