States have a clear duty, under international human rights law and as matter of the common humanity that links peoples together, to ensure that migrants, especially migrants in vulnerable situations, are able to access their economic, social and cultural rights without discrimination, and are not abandoned to extreme privation or other life-threatening risks even when they cross borders irregularly. As affirmed in the New York Declaration of 2016, “[w]e are determined to save lives. Our challenge is above all moral and humanitarian.”

However, in a number of countries, significant political pressures have arisen to impose strict controls over the entry and stay of migrants. This has extended to the denial (whether through direct or indict means), of basic services such as health, housing, education and justice and even to the criminalisation of the efforts of humanitarian organisations.  Finding a working balance between states’ duties to ensure support for the humanitarian needs of migrants and their interests in border control is one of the dilemmas that the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration seeks to address.

On 10 July 2018, on the occasion of the 6th negotiation session on the Global Compact, the IFRC together with PICUM – Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants and OHCHR – the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights are co-sponsoring this event at UN headquarters about the barriers to essential services and humanitarian assistance to vulnerable migrants.

Keynote Speaker


More information

New Walled Order: How barriers to basic services turn migration into a humanitarian crisis

For more information, click here.