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Harald Bergmann: "Cities and regions, at the forefront of ensuring the reception and rights of migrants"

SDGs Strasbourg, France 18 December 2019
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Harald Bergmann:

"If migration policies are decided at European or national level, on the ground, it is cities and regions that are in the front line to welcome migrants and guarantee their rights," said Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, ILDG), spokesperson for the Congress on Human Rights, on the occasion of International Migrants' Day, 18 December 2019.

"In reality, this is a shared responsibility that falls to all levels of governance, European and national, but also regional and local. That is why it is essential that governments support local and regional authorities by providing them with adequate financial resources," said the Congress spokesperson. "Through its work, the Congress contributes to the achievement of Objective 10 of Agenda 2030 by proposing strategies that engage all stakeholders to combat inequalities," he added.

This "integrated approach", recommended by the Congress in a report adopted in 2018, should also involve NGOs and partners in countries of origin and transit, while facilitating the networking of actors, in order to share good practices and contribute to the reception and integration of migrants, including in the labour market.

The Congress also published, in 2019, the Human rights handbook for local and regional authorities the first volume of which is devoted to the fight against discrimination. A chapter of this Handbook is dedicated to refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons (IDPs). It includes a presentation of the legal framework and the role that local and regional authorities can play, as well as good practices implemented in more than 25 countries.

The work of the Congress is part of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Agenda 2030, with an approach based on three key principles: the achievement of the SDGs is a shared responsibility of all levels of government, local and regional authorities must have the necessary skills and financial autonomy; citizens must always remain at the heart of the action.