The Global Migration Group (GMG) welcomes the outcomes of the second United Nations (UN) High- level Dialogue on International Migration and Development which took place at the UN General Assembly in New York on 3 and 4 October 2013.
The Declaration adopted at the High-level Dialogue broke new ground, expressing a strong convergence of views and opening a new chapter in multilateral cooperation on migration. The broad areas of consensus that emerged – placing priority on the human and labour rights of all migrants and their families with emphasis on the most vulnerable, the need to integrate migrants and migration in the new global development agenda, and the recognition that migration matters for all countries – matched the recommendations presented by the GMG in advance of the Dialogue. The GMG is also encouraged by the substantive nature of the discussions and the spirit of cooperation and partnership that characterized the two-day meeting as well as the months of preparation that preceded it.
On the occasion of International Migrants Day 2013, which marks the day of the adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, the GMG calls for a migrant-centred approach to migration governance that recognizes human rights and development as two sides of the same coin. […]
As the United Nations (UN) is convening its second High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in October 2013, the Global Migration Group (GMG) calls on Member States to seize this opportunity to firmly anchor their approach to migration in the three fundamental principles of human rights, equality, and sustainability, and to make migrants and migration issues an integral part of the development agenda succeeding the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The international community is working to reframe the global framework for sustainable development at a time when the world is experiencing significant demographic, social, political, cultural and economic transformations. Many of these shifts also reflect, and are reflected in, changing patterns of migration and evolving modes of governance. With an estimated one out of seven persons on the planet engaged in some form of mobility – across borders or within their country – migration is a central component of current population dynamics and is a key enabler for development at the global level. […]
Last week, when the Greek justice minister submitted to parliament a long-awaited draft law aimed at tackling growing racism, I felt excitement and suspense as I rushed to read it. But disappointment quickly followed. The draft law would criminalize hate speech and incitement to violence, but doesn’t address the core of the problem: violent racist attacks on migrants and asylum seekers.
Ali Rahimi, an Afghan asylum seeker who was stabbed five times in the torso in Athens in September 2011, is one of the many victims I’ve spoken with who are still waiting for justice. The trial of two men and a woman accused of the attack has been postponed eight times. But at least Rahimi has the chance to pursue his attackers.
Hassan Mohammed, a Somali migrant left bleeding and unconscious on an Athens street after an assault in October 2011 by a large group of people, didn’t have that opportunity. Police told him bluntly that he would be arrested if he tried to file an official complaint. Unlike Rahimi, who had papers, Mohammed was undocumented. […]
Members of Greece’s parliament should include measures to combat racist and xenophobic violence in a draft anti-racism law, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, introduced in parliament by Justice Minister Haralampos Athanassiou on November 20, 2013, would impose sanctions for hate speech and incitement to violence but fails to address problems in existing Greek law and practice with respect to reporting and prosecuting racist violence.
"Greece has failed countless victims of racist and xenophobic attacks by neither investigating nor prosecuting the attackers", said Eva Cossé, Greece specialist at Human Rights Watch. "If the justice minister and parliament are really serious about improving the country’s response to racism and xenophobia, they should remove the obstacles to justice for these attacks". […]
The Bulgarian authorities must send a clear message that they will take all necessary measures to curb the growing spate of attacks against refugees and migrants on the streets of the capital Sofia, Amnesty International said.
The call comes after two Syrian men in their 20s and 30s were injured in a violent attack in Sofia’s Sugar Factory district last night. A third man targeted in the attack reportedly escaped unscathed. It is the seventh such assault on the city’s streets since the beginning of November 2013.
"So far, instead of investigating and bringing the perpetrators of these violent attacks to justice, the Bulgarian authorities have sought to downplay them as run-of-the-mill muggings and crimes. Bulgaria is obliged under international law to thoroughly investigate any possible hate motive behind these crimes. Hate crimes are an affront to human dignity", said Jezerca Tigani, a Deputy Director of Europe and Central Asia Programme of Amnesty International. […]