There is ample room for principled debate about migration, but there can be no doubt about the fundamental principle of humanity. Regardless of their legal status, all migrants and displaced people are human beings. States must safeguard their safety, dignity and well-being and ensure unhindered access to essential services.
Our policies, resolutions and strategies support these actions by setting principles and providing guidance on everyday work with vulnerable migrants, refugees, and other displaced people.
Our call to action on migrants
Today, many vulnerable migrants, including people who are trafficked, face unacceptable risks of death, abuse, sexual assault and exploitation. Of particular concern are gaps in the protection of children on the move, especially those unaccompanied by their parents (see our policy brief here).
Migrants, in particular those without formal legal status (irregular migrants), are often denied access to services that are critical to meeting one’s basic humanitarian needs or they avoid service providers due to fear of arrest. Equally troubling are proposals or rulings that humanitarian aid for irregular migrants be curtailed or criminalized. Meanwhile, prolonged detention is used with alarming regularity as an unnecessarily harsh means to control migration, even with extremely vulnerable populations, such as children.
In November 2017, the world’s 190 National Societies, joined by the IFRC and ICRC, unanimously adopted a “Movement Call for Action on the Humanitarian Needs of Vulnerable Migrants,” calling on states urgently to address these issues and offering their support to them in doing so.
Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
The Global for Migration was adopted in Marrakech in 2018. It is a non-binding, voluntary agreement in which states commit to objectives and actions that cover migration in countries of origin, transit, destination and return. The GCM has a strong foundation in international human rights law and aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. IFRC welcomes the GCM has an important step and opportunity to improve protection and assistance for migrants.
Click here for our policy brief.
Click here for more information on the GCM.
Our call to action on displaced persons
We are deeply concerned about the fate of the millions of people forcibly displaced by persecution and violence, now in greater numbers than any time since World War II. Those trapped in prolonged situations of forced displacement (whether as refugees or internally displaced persons) are particularly vulnerable. Investment in their long-term well-being and greater sharing of international responsibility are urgent.
There must also be greater investment in addressing large-scale displacement as a result of natural disasters and climate change and ensuring that the most at-risk communities become more resilient. The humanitarian costs and implications of such displacement must be front and centre of climate change adaptation discussions at the global, regional and national levels.
Click here for our policy brief.
The Global Compact on Refugees
The Global Compact on Refugees was adopted in 2018 and IFRC believes it offers an opportunity to address some of these pressing issues, at least for those displaced across borders.
For all displaced persons, investment in the role of local actors and local action must be ramped up.
Resolutions, Policies, Strategies and Frameworks
- Council of Delegates, Movement call for action on the humanitarian needs of vulnerable migrants (2017)
- Resolution 3 on Migration – 31st International Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent (2011)
- Action to Assist and Protect Trafficked Persons (2018)
- European migration plan (2018)
- IFRC Global Strategy on Migration (2018-2022)
- IFRC Operational framework for involvement in migrant health and care services (2016)
- IFRC European Migration Framework (2016)
- IFRC Response plan for Mediterranean and neighbouring regions (2015)
Policy Briefs and Reports
- Responses to Internal Displacements in distasters (2019).
- Global compact for Migration: from words to action (2019).
- Policy Report: Disasters and Displacement in a Changing Climate: The Role of Asia Pacific National Societies (2018)
- Policy Report: Addressing the humanitarian consequences of labour migration and trafficking: The role of Asia Pacific National Societies
- IFRC Policy Report: Alone and Unsafe: Children, Migration and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (2018)
- IFRC Policy Report: New Walled Order – How Barriers to Basic Services Turn Migration into a Humanitarian Crisis (2018)
- IFRC Policy Brief on the Global Compact on Refugees (2017)
- IFRC Policy Brief on Protection and Assistance for Children on the Move (2017)
- IFRC Policy Brief on the Global Compact on Migration (2017)
- IFRC, One Humanity: Safety and Dignity for Migrants (2016)
- World Disasters Report: Focus on Forced Migration (2012)