Voltaire Network

New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants

| New York (USA)
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The Special Representative for International Migration and Development, Peter Sutherland, gives instructions to "his" Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

We, the Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 19 September 2016 to address the question of large movements of refugees and migrants, have adopted the following political declaration.

I. Introduction

1. Since earliest times, humanity has been on the move. Some people move in search of new economic opportunities and horizons. Others move to escape armed conflict, poverty, food insecurity, persecution, terrorism, or human rights violations and abuses. Still others do so in response to the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters (some of which may be linked to climate change), or other environmental factors. Many move, indeed, for a combination of these reasons.

2. We have considered today how the international community should best respond to the growing global phenomenon of large movements of refugees and migrants.

3. We are witnessing in today’s world an unprecedented level of human mobility. More people than ever before live in a country other than the one in which they were born. Migrants are present in all countries in the world. Most of them move without incident. In 2015, their number surpassed 244 million, growing at a rate faster than the world’s population. However, there are roughly 65 million forcibly displaced persons, including over 21 million refugees, 3 million asylum seekers and over 40 million internally displaced persons.

4. In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development one year ago, we recognized clearly the positive contribution made by migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development. Our world is a better place for that contribution. The benefits and opportunities of safe, orderly and regular migration are substantial and are often underestimated. Forced displacement and irregular migration in large movements, on the other hand, often present complex challenges.

5. We reaffirm the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We reaffirm also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recall the core international human rights treaties. We reaffirm and will fully protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of status; all are rights holders. Our response will demonstrate full respect for international law and international human rights law and, where applicable, international refugee law and international humanitarian law.

6. Though their treatment is governed by separate legal frameworks, refugees and migrants have the same universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. They also face many common challenges and have similar vulnerabilities, including in the context of large movements. “Large movements” may be understood to reflect a number of considerations, including: the number of people arriving, the economic, social and geographical context, the capacity of a receiving State to respond and the impact of a movement that is sudden or prolonged. The term does not, for example, cover regular flows of migrants from one country to another. “Large movements” may involve mixed flows of people, whether refugees or migrants, who move for different reasons but who may use similar routes.

7. Large movements of refugees and migrants have political, economic, social, developmental, humanitarian and human rights ramifications, which cross all borders. These are global phenomena that call for global approaches and global solutions. No one State can manage such movements on its own. Neighbouring or transit countries, mostly developing countries, are disproportionately affected. Their capacities have been severely stretched in many cases, affecting their own social and economic cohesion and development. In addition, protracted refugee crises are now commonplace, with long-term repercussions for those involved and for their host countries and communities. Greater international cooperation is needed to assist host countries and communities.

8. We declare our profound solidarity with, and support for, the millions of people in different parts of the world who, for reasons beyond their control, are forced to uproot themselves and their families from their homes.

9. Refugees and migrants in large movements often face a desperate ordeal. Many take great risks, embarking on perilous journeys, which many may not survive. Some feel compelled to employ the services of criminal groups, including smugglers, and others may fall prey to such groups or become victims of trafficking. Even if they reach their destination, they face an uncertain reception and a precarious future.

10. We are determined to save lives. Our challenge is above all moral and humanitarian. Equally, we are determined to find long-term and sustainable solutions. We will combat with all the means at our disposal the abuses and exploitation suffered by countless refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations.

11. We acknowledge a shared responsibility to manage large movements of refugees and migrants in a humane, sensitive, compassionate and people-centred manner. We will do so through international cooperation, while recognizing that there are varying capacities and resources to respond to these movements. International cooperation and, in particular, cooperation among countries of origin or nationality, transit and destination, has never been more important; “win-win” cooperation in this area has profound benefits for humanity. Large movements of refugees and migrants must have comprehensive policy support, assistance and protection, consistent with States’ obligations under international law. We also recall our obligations to fully respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and we stress their need to live their lives in safety and dignity. We pledge our support to those affected today as well as to those who will be part of future large movements.

12. We are determined to address the root causes of large movements of refugees and migrants, including through increased efforts aimed at early prevention of crisis situations based on preventive diplomacy. We will address them also through the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflict, greater coordination of humanitarian, development and peacebuilding efforts, the promotion of the rule of law at the national and international levels and the protection of human rights. Equally, we will address movements caused by poverty, instability, marginalization and exclusion and the lack of development and economic opportunities, with particular reference to the most vulnerable populations. We will work with countries of origin to strengthen their capacities.

13. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. We recall that our obligations under international law prohibit discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Yet in many parts of the world we are witnessing, with great concern, increasingly xenophobic and racist responses to refugees and migrants.

14. We strongly condemn acts and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance against refugees and migrants, and the stereotypes often applied to them, including on the basis of religion or belief. Diversity enriches every society and contributes to social cohesion. Demonizing refugees or migrants offends profoundly against the values of dignity and equality for every human being, to which we have committed ourselves. Gathered today at the United Nations, the birthplace and custodian of these universal values, we deplore all manifestations of xenophobia, racial discrimination and intolerance. We will take a range of steps to counter such attitudes and behaviour, in particular with regard to hate crimes, hate speech and racial violence. We welcome the global campaign proposed by the Secretary-General to counter xenophobia and we will implement it in cooperation with the United Nations and all relevant stakeholders, in accordance with international law. The campaign will emphasize, inter alia, direct personal contact between host communities and refugees and migrants and will highlight the positive contributions made by the latter, as well as our common humanity.

15. We invite the private sector and civil society, including refugee and migrant organizations, to participate in multi-stakeholder alliances to support efforts to implement the commitments we are making today.

16. In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we pledged that no one would be left behind. We declared that we wished to see the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets met for all nations and peoples and for all segments of society. We said also that we would endeavour to reach the furthest behind first. We reaffirm today our commitments that relate to the specific needs of migrants or refugees. The 2030 Agenda makes clear, inter alia, that we will facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. The needs of refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants are explicitly recognized.

17. The implementation of all relevant provisions of the 2030 Agenda will enable the positive contribution that migrants are making to sustainable development to be reinforced. At the same time, it will address many of the root causes of forced displacement, helping to create more favourable conditions in countries of origin. Meeting today, a year after our adoption of the 2030 Agenda, we are determined to realize the full potential of that Agenda for refugees and migrants.

18. We recall the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and its recommendations concerning measures to mitigate risks associated with disasters. States that have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change welcome that agreement and are committed to its implementation. We reaffirm the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, including its provisions that are applicable to refugees and migrants.

19. We take note of the report of the Secretary-General, entitled “In safety and dignity: addressing large movements of refugees and migrants”, prepared pursuant to General Assembly decision 70/539, in preparation for this high-level meeting. While recognizing that the following conferences either did not have an intergovernmentally agreed outcome or were regional in scope, we take note of the World Humanitarian Summit, held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 23 and 24 May 2016, the high-level meeting on global responsibility-sharing through pathways for admission of Syrian refugees, convened by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on 30 March 2016, the conference on “Supporting Syria and the Region”, held in London on 4 February 2016, and the pledging conference on Somali refugees, held in Brussels on 21 October 2015. While recognizing that the following initiatives are regional in nature and apply only to those countries participating in them, we take note of regional initiatives such as the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, the European Union-Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative and the African Union-Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants (the Khartoum Process), the Rabat Process, the Valletta Action Plan and the Brazil Declaration and Plan of Action.

20. We recognize the very large number of people who are displaced within national borders and the possibility that such persons might seek protection and assistance in other countries as refugees or migrants. We note the need for reflection on effective strategies to ensure adequate protection and assistance for internally displaced persons and to prevent and reduce such displacement.

Commitments

21. We have endorsed today a set of commitments that apply to both refugees and migrants, as well as separate sets of commitments for refugees and migrants. We do so taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities. We reaffirm our commitment to international law and emphasize that this declaration and its appendices are to be implemented in a manner that is consistent with the rights and obligations of States under international law. While some commitments are mainly applicable to one group, they may also be applicable to the other. Furthermore, while they are all framed in the context of the large movements we are considering today, many may be applicable also to regular migration. Appendix I to the present declaration contains a comprehensive refugee response framework and outlines steps towards the achievement of a global compact on refugees in 2018, while appendix II sets out steps towards the achievement of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018.

II. Commitments that apply to both refugees and migrants

22. Underlining the importance of a comprehensive approach to the issues involved, we will ensure a people-centred, sensitive, humane, dignified, gender-responsive and prompt reception for all persons arriving in our countries, and particularly those in large movements, whether refugees or migrants. We will also ensure full respect and protection for their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

23. We recognize and will address, in accordance with our obligations under international law, the special needs of all people in vulnerable situations who are travelling within large movements of refugees and migrants, including women at risk, children, especially those who are unaccompanied or separated from their families, members of ethnic and religious minorities, victims of violence, older persons, persons with disabilities, persons who are discriminated against on any basis, indigenous peoples, victims of human trafficking, and victims of exploitation and abuse in the context of the smuggling of migrants.

24. Recognizing that States have rights and responsibilities to manage and control their borders, we will implement border control procedures in conformity with applicable obligations under international law, including international human rights law and international refugee law. We will promote international cooperation on border control and management as an important element of security for States, including issues relating to battling transnational organized crime, terrorism and illicit trade. We will ensure that public officials and law enforcement officers who work in border areas are trained to uphold the human rights of all persons crossing, or seeking to cross, international borders. We will strengthen international border management cooperation, including in relation to training and the exchange of best practices. We will intensify support in this area and help to build capacity as appropriate. We reaffirm that, in line with the principle of non-refoulement, individuals must not be returned at borders. We acknowledge also that, while upholding these obligations and principles, States are entitled to take measures to prevent irregular border crossings.

25. We will make efforts to collect accurate information regarding large movements of refugees and migrants. We will also take measures to identify correctly their nationalities, as well as their reasons for movement. We will take measures to identify those who are seeking international protection as refugees.

26. We will continue to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons, in transit and after arrival. We stress the importance of addressing the immediate needs of persons who have been exposed to physical or psychological abuse while in transit upon their arrival, without discrimination and without regard to legal or migratory status or means of transportation. For this purpose, we will consider appropriate support to strengthen, at their request, capacity-building for countries that receive large movements of refugees and migrants.

27. We are determined to address unsafe movements of refugees and migrants, with particular reference to irregular movements of refugees and migrants. We will do so without prejudice to the right to seek asylum. We will combat the exploitation, abuse and discrimination suffered by many refugees and migrants.

28. We express our profound concern at the large number of people who have lost their lives in transit. We commend the efforts already made to rescue people in distress at sea. We commit to intensifying international cooperation on the strengthening of search and rescue mechanisms. We will also work to improve the availability of accurate data on the whereabouts of people and vessels stranded at sea. In addition, we will strengthen support for rescue efforts over land along dangerous or isolated routes. We will draw attention to the risks involved in the use of such routes in the first instance.

29. We recognize and will take steps to address the particular vulnerabilities of women and children during the journey from country of origin to country of arrival. This includes their potential exposure to discrimination and exploitation, as well as to sexual, physical and psychological abuse, violence, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery.

30. We encourage States to address the vulnerabilities to HIV and the specific health-care needs experienced by migrant and mobile populations, as well as by refugees and crisis-affected populations, and to take steps to reduce stigma, discrimination and violence, as well as to review policies related to restrictions on entry based on HIV status, with a view to eliminating such restrictions and the return of people on the basis of their HIV status, and to support their access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

31. We will ensure that our responses to large movements of refugees and migrants mainstream a gender perspective, promote gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and fully respect and protect the human rights of women and girls. We will combat sexual and gender-based violence to the greatest extent possible. We will provide access to sexual and reproductive health-care services. We will tackle the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against refugee and migrant women and girls. At the same time, recognizing the significant contribution and leadership of women in refugee and migrant communities, we will work to ensure their full, equal and meaningful participation in the development of local solutions and opportunities. We will take into consideration the different needs, vulnerabilities and capacities of women, girls, boys and men.

32. We will protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all refugee and migrant children, regardless of their status, and giving primary consideration at all times to the best interests of the child. This will apply particularly to unaccompanied children and those separated from their families; we will refer their care to the relevant national child protection authorities and other relevant authorities. We will comply with our obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We will work to provide for basic health, education and psychosocial development and for the registration of all births on our territories. We are determined to ensure that all children are receiving education within a few months of arrival, and we will prioritize budgetary provision to facilitate this, including support for host countries as required. We will strive to provide refugee and migrant children with a nurturing environment for the full realization of their rights and capabilities.

33. Reaffirming that all individuals who have crossed or are seeking to cross international borders are entitled to due process in the assessment of their legal status, entry and stay, we will consider reviewing policies that criminalize cross-border movements. We will also pursue alternatives to detention while these assessments are under way. Furthermore, recognizing that detention for the purposes of determining migration status is seldom, if ever, in the best interest of the child, we will use it only as a measure of last resort, in the least restrictive setting, for the shortest possible period of time, under conditions that respect their human rights and in a manner that takes into account, as a primary consideration, the best interest of the child, and we will work towards the ending of this practice.

34. Reaffirming the importance of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the two relevant Protocols thereto, we encourage the ratification of, accession to and implementation of relevant international instruments on preventing and combating trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants.

35. We recognize that refugees and migrants in large movements are at greater risk of being trafficked and of being subjected to forced labour. We will, with full respect for our obligations under international law, vigorously combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling with a view to their elimination, including through targeted measures to identify victims of human trafficking or those at risk of trafficking. We will provide support for the victims of human trafficking. We will work to prevent human trafficking among those affected by displacement.

36. With a view to disrupting and eliminating the criminal networks involved, we will review our national legislation to ensure conformity with our obligations under international law on migrant smuggling, human trafficking and maritime safety. We will implement the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking In Persons. We will establish or upgrade, as appropriate, national and regional anti human trafficking policies. We note regional initiatives such as the African Union-Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants, the Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016, and the Work Plans against Trafficking in Persons in the Western Hemisphere. We welcome reinforced technical cooperation, on a regional and bilateral basis, between countries of origin, transit and destination on the prevention of human trafficking and migrant smuggling and the prosecution of traffickers and smugglers.

37. We favour an approach to addressing the drivers and root causes of large movements of refugees and migrants, including forced displacement and protracted crises, which would, inter alia, reduce vulnerability, combat poverty, improve self-reliance and resilience, ensure a strengthened humanitarian-development nexus, and improve coordination with peacebuilding efforts. This will involve coordinated prioritized responses based on joint and impartial needs assessments and facilitating cooperation across institutional mandates.

38. We will take measures to provide, on the basis of bilateral, regional and international cooperation, humanitarian financing that is adequate, flexible, predictable and consistent, to enable host countries and communities to respond both to the immediate humanitarian needs and to their longer-term development needs. There is a need to address gaps in humanitarian funding, considering additional resources as appropriate. We look forward to close cooperation in this regard among Member States, United Nations entities and other actors and between the United Nations and international financial institutions such as the World Bank, where appropriate. We envisage innovative financing responses, risk financing for affected communities and the implementation of other efficiencies such as reducing management costs, improving transparency, increasing the use of national responders, expanding the use of cash assistance, reducing duplication, increasing engagement with beneficiaries, diminishing earmarked funding and harmonizing reporting, so as to ensure a more effective use of existing resources.

39. We commit to combating xenophobia, racism and discrimination in our societies against refugees and migrants. We will take measures to improve their integration and inclusion, as appropriate, and with particular reference to access to education, health care, justice and language training. We recognize that these measures will reduce the risks of marginalization and radicalization. National policies relating to integration and inclusion will be developed, as appropriate, in conjunction with relevant civil society organizations, including faith-based organizations, the private sector, employers’ and workers’ organizations and other stakeholders. We also note the obligation for refugees and migrants to observe the laws and regulations of their host countries.

40. We recognize the importance of improved data collection, particularly by national authorities, and will enhance international cooperation to this end, including through capacity-building, financial support and technical assistance. Such data should be disaggregated by sex and age and include information on regular and irregular flows, the economic impacts of migration and refugee movements, human trafficking, the needs of refugees, migrants and host communities and other issues. We will do so consistent with our national legislation on data protection, if applicable, and our international obligations related to privacy, as applicable.

III. Commitments for migrants

41. We are committed to protecting the safety, dignity and human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, at all times. We will cooperate closely to facilitate and ensure safe, orderly and regular migration, including return and readmission, taking into account national legislation.

42. We commit to safeguarding the rights of, protecting the interests of and assisting our migrant communities abroad, including through consular protection, assistance and cooperation, in accordance with relevant international law. We reaffirm that everyone has the right to leave any country, including his or her own, and to return to his or her country. We recall at the same time that each State has a sovereign right to determine whom to admit to its territory, subject to that State’s international obligations. We recall also that States must readmit their returning nationals and ensure that they are duly received without undue delay, following confirmation of their nationalities in accordance with national legislation. We will take measures to inform migrants about the various processes relating to their arrival and stay in countries of transit, destination and return.

43. We commit to addressing the drivers that create or exacerbate large movements. We will analyse and respond to the factors, including in countries of origin, which lead or contribute to large movements. We will cooperate to create conditions that allow communities and individuals to live in peace and prosperity in their homelands. Migration should be a choice, not a necessity. We will take measures, inter alia, to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, whose objectives include eradicating extreme poverty and inequality, revitalizing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies based on international human rights and the rule of law, creating conditions for balanced, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and employment, combating environmental degradation and ensuring effective responses to natural disasters and the adverse impacts of climate change.

44. Recognizing that the lack of educational opportunities is often a push factor for migration, particularly for young people, we commit to strengthening capacities in countries of origin, including in educational institutions. We commit also to enhancing employment opportunities, particularly for young people, in countries of origin. We acknowledge also the impact of migration on human capital in countries of origin.

45. We will consider reviewing our migration policies with a view to examining their possible unintended negative consequences.

46. We also recognize that international migration is a multidimensional reality of major relevance for the development of countries of origin, transit and destination, which requires coherent and comprehensive responses. Migrants can make positive and profound contributions to economic and social development in their host societies and to global wealth creation. They can help to respond to demographic trends, labour shortages and other challenges in host societies, and add fresh skills and dynamism to the latter’s economies. We recognize the development benefits of migration to countries of origin, including through the involvement of diasporas in economic development and reconstruction. We will commit to reducing the costs of labour migration and promote ethical recruitment policies and practices between sending and receiving countries. We will promote faster, cheaper and safer transfers of migrant remittances in both source and recipient countries, including through a reduction in transaction costs, as well as the facilitation of interaction between diasporas and their countries of origin. We would like these contributions to be more widely recognized and indeed, strengthened in the context of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

47. We will ensure that all aspects of migration are integrated into global, regional and national sustainable development plans and in humanitarian, peacebuilding and human rights policies and programmes.

48. We call upon States that have not done so to consider ratifying, or acceding to, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. We call also on States that have not done so to consider acceding to relevant International Labour Organization conventions, as appropriate. We note, in addition, that migrants enjoy rights and protection under various provisions of international law.

49. We commit to strengthening global governance of migration. We therefore warmly support and welcome the agreement to bring the International Organization for Migration, an organization regarded by its Member States as the global lead agency on migration, into a closer legal and working relationship with the United Nations as a related organization. We look forward to the implementation of this agreement, which will assist and protect migrants more comprehensively, help States to address migration issues and promote better coherence between migration and related policy domains.

50. We will assist, impartially and on the basis of needs, migrants in countries that are experiencing conflicts or natural disasters, working, as applicable, in coordination with the relevant national authorities. While recognizing that not all States are participating in them, we note in this regard the Migrants in Countries in Crisis initiative and the Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change resulting from the Nansen Initiative.

51. We take note of the work done by the Global Migration Group to develop principles and practical guidance on the protection of the human rights of migrants in vulnerable situations.

52. We will consider developing non-binding guiding principles and voluntary guidelines, consistent with international law, on the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations, especially unaccompanied and separated children who do not qualify for international protection as refugees and who may need assistance. The guiding principles and guidelines will be developed using a State-led process with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders and with input from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration and Development, the International Organization for Migration, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other relevant United Nations system entities. They would complement national efforts to protect and assist migrants.

53. We welcome the willingness of some States to provide temporary protection against return to migrants who do not qualify for refugee status and who are unable to return home owing to conditions in their countries.

54. We will build on existing bilateral, regional and global cooperation and partnership mechanisms, in accordance with international law, for facilitating migration in line with the 2030 Agenda. We will strengthen cooperation to this end among countries of origin, transit and destination, including through regional consultative processes, international organizations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, regional economic organizations and local government authorities, as well as with relevant private sector recruiters and employers, labour unions, civil society and migrant and diaspora groups. We recognize the particular needs of local authorities, who are the first receivers of migrants.

55. We recognize the progress made on international migration and development issues within the United Nations system, including the first and second High-level Dialogues on International Migration and Development. We will support enhanced global and regional dialogue and deepened collaboration on migration, particularly through exchanges of best practice and mutual learning and the development of national or regional initiatives. We note in this regard the valuable contribution of the Global Forum on Migration and Development and acknowledge the importance of multi-stakeholder dialogues on migration and development.

56. We affirm that children should not be criminalized or subject to punitive measures because of their migration status or that of their parents.

57. We will consider facilitating opportunities for safe, orderly and regular migration, including, as appropriate, employment creation, labour mobility at all skills levels, circular migration, family reunification and education-related opportunities. We will pay particular attention to the application of minimum labour standards for migrant workers regardless of their status, as well as to recruitment and other migration-related costs, remittance flows, transfers of skills and knowledge and the creation of employment opportunities for young people.

58. We strongly encourage cooperation among countries of origin or nationality, countries of transit, countries of destination and other relevant countries in ensuring that migrants who do not have permission to stay in the country of destination can return, in accordance with international obligations of all States, to their country of origin or nationality in a safe, orderly and dignified manner, preferably on a voluntary basis, taking into account national legislation in line with international law. We note that cooperation on return and readmission forms an important element of international cooperation on migration. Such cooperation would include ensuring proper identification and the provision of relevant travel documents. Any type of return, whether voluntary or otherwise, must be consistent with our obligations under international human rights law and in compliance with the principle of non refoulement. It should also respect the rules of international law and must in addition be conducted in keeping with the best interests of children and with due process. While recognizing that they apply only to States that have entered into them, we acknowledge that existing readmission agreements should be fully implemented. We support enhanced reception and reintegration assistance for those who are returned. Particular attention should be paid to the needs of migrants in vulnerable situations who return, such as children, older persons, persons with disabilities and victims of trafficking.

59. We reaffirm our commitment to protect the human rights of migrant children, given their vulnerability, particularly unaccompanied migrant children, and to provide access to basic health, education and psychosocial services, ensuring that the best interests of the child is a primary consideration in all relevant policies.

60. We recognize the need to address the special situation and vulnerability of migrant women and girls by, inter alia, incorporating a gender perspective into migration policies and strengthening national laws, institutions and programmes to combat gender-based violence, including trafficking in persons and discrimination against women and girls.

61. While recognizing the contribution of civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to promoting the well-being of migrants and their integration into societies, especially at times of extremely vulnerable conditions, and the support of the international community to the efforts of such organizations, we encourage deeper interaction between Governments and civil society to find responses to the challenges and the opportunities posed by international migration.

62. We note that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration and Development, Peter Sutherland, will be providing, before the end of 2016, a report that will propose ways of strengthening international cooperation and the engagement of the United Nations on migration.

63. We commit to launching, in 2016, a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration at an intergovernmental conference to be held in 2018. We invite the President of the General Assembly to make arrangements for the determination of the modalities, timeline and other practicalities relating to the negotiation process. Further details regarding the process are set out in appendix II to the present declaration.

IV. Commitments for refugees

64. Recognizing that armed conflict, persecution and violence, including terrorism, are among the factors which give rise to large refugee movements, we will work to address the root causes of such crisis situations and to prevent or resolve conflict by peaceful means. We will work in every way possible for the peaceful settlement of disputes, the prevention of conflict and the achievement of the long-term political solutions required. Preventive diplomacy and early response to conflict on the part of States and the United Nations are critical. The promotion of human rights is also critical. In addition, we will promote good governance, the rule of law, effective, accountable and inclusive institutions, and sustainable development at the international, regional, national and local levels. Recognizing that displacement could be reduced if international humanitarian law were respected by all parties to armed conflict, we renew our commitment to uphold humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law. We confirm also our respect for the rules that safeguard civilians in conflict.

65. We reaffirm the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto as the foundation of the international refugee protection regime. We recognize the importance of their full and effective application by States parties and the values they embody. We note with satisfaction that 148 States are now parties to one or both instruments. We encourage States not parties to consider acceding to those instruments and States parties with reservations to give consideration to withdrawing them. We recognize also that a number of States not parties to the international refugee instruments have shown a generous approach to hosting refugees.

66. We reaffirm that international refugee law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law provide the legal framework to strengthen the protection of refugees. We will ensure, in this context, protection for all who need it. We take note of regional refugee instruments, such as the Organization of African Unity Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa and the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees.

67. We reaffirm respect for the institution of asylum and the right to seek asylum. We reaffirm also respect for and adherence to the fundamental principle of non refoulement in accordance with international refugee law.

68. We underline the centrality of international cooperation to the refugee protection regime. We recognize the burdens that large movements of refugees places on national resources, especially in the case of developing countries. To address the needs of refugees and receiving States, we commit to a more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting the world’s refugees, while taking account of existing contributions and the differing capacities and resources among States.

69. We believe that a comprehensive refugee response should be developed and initiated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in close coordination with relevant States, including host countries, and involving other relevant United Nations entities, for each situation involving large movements of refugees. This should involve a multi-stakeholder approach that includes national and local authorities, international organizations, international financial institutions, civil society partners (including faith-based organizations, diaspora organizations and academia), the private sector, the media and refugees themselves. A comprehensive framework of this kind is appended to the present declaration.

70. We will ensure that refugee admission policies or arrangements are in line with our obligations under international law. We wish to see administrative barriers eased, with a view to accelerating refugee admission procedures to the extent possible. We will, where appropriate, assist States to conduct early and effective registration and documentation of refugees. We will also promote access for children to child-appropriate procedures. At the same time, we recognize that the ability of refugees to lodge asylum claims in the country of their choice may be regulated, subject to the safeguard that they will have access to, and enjoyment of, protection elsewhere.

71. We encourage the adoption of measures to facilitate access to civil registration and documentation for refugees. We recognize in this regard the importance of early and effective registration and documentation, as a protection tool and to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance.

72. We recognize that statelessness can be a root cause of forced displacement and that forced displacement, in turn, can lead to statelessness. We take note of the campaign of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to end statelessness within a decade and we encourage States to consider actions they could take to reduce the incidence of statelessness. We encourage those States that have not yet acceded to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness to consider doing so.

73. We recognize that refugee camps should be the exception and, to the extent possible, a temporary measure in response to an emergency. We note that 60 per cent of refugees worldwide are in urban settings and only a minority are in camps. We will ensure that the delivery of assistance to refugees and host communities is adapted to the relevant context. We underline that host States have the primary responsibility to ensure the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps and settlements. We will work to ensure that this character is not compromised by the presence or activities of armed elements and to ensure that camps are not used for purposes that are incompatible with their civilian character. We will work to strengthen security in refugee camps and surrounding local communities, at the request and with the consent of the host country.

74. We welcome the extraordinarily generous contribution made to date by countries that host large refugee populations and will work to increase the support for those countries. We call for pledges made at relevant conferences to be disbursed promptly.

75. We commit to working towards solutions from the outset of a refugee situation. We will actively promote durable solutions, particularly in protracted refugee situations, with a focus on sustainable and timely return in safety and dignity. This will encompass repatriation, reintegration, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities. We encourage States and other relevant actors to provide support through, inter alia, the allocation of funds.

76. We reaffirm that voluntary repatriation should not necessarily be conditioned on the accomplishment of political solutions in the country of origin.

77. We intend to expand the number and range of legal pathways available for refugees to be admitted to or resettled in third countries. In addition to easing the plight of refugees, this has benefits for countries that host large refugee populations and for third countries that receive refugees.

78. We urge States that have not yet established resettlement programmes to consider doing so at the earliest opportunity. Those which have already done so are encouraged to consider increasing the size of their programmes. It is our aim to provide resettlement places and other legal pathways for admission on a scale that would enable the annual resettlement needs identified by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to be met.

79. We will consider the expansion of existing humanitarian admission programmes, possible temporary evacuation programmes, including evacuation for medical reasons, flexible arrangements to assist family reunification, private sponsorship for individual refugees and opportunities for labour mobility for refugees, including through private-sector partnerships, and for education, such as scholarships and student visas.

80. We are committed to providing humanitarian assistance to refugees so as to ensure essential support in key life-saving sectors, such as health care, shelter, food, water and sanitation. We commit to supporting host countries and communities in this regard, including by using locally available knowledge and capacities. We will support community-based development programmes that benefit both refugees and host communities.

81. We are determined to provide quality primary and secondary education in safe learning environments for all refugee children, and to do so within a few months of the initial displacement. We commit to providing host countries with support in this regard. Access to quality education, including for host communities, gives fundamental protection to children and youth in displacement contexts, particularly in situations of conflict and crisis.

82. We will support early childhood education for refugee children. We will also promote tertiary education, skills training and vocational education. In conflict and crisis situations, higher education serves as a powerful driver for change, shelters and protects a critical group of young men and women by maintaining their hopes for the future, fosters inclusion and non-discrimination and acts as a catalyst for the recovery and rebuilding of post-conflict countries.

83. We will work to ensure that the basic health needs of refugee communities are met and that women and girls have access to essential health-care services. We commit to providing host countries with support in this regard. We will also develop national strategies for the protection of refugees within the framework of national social protection systems, as appropriate.

84. Welcoming the positive steps taken by individual States, we encourage host Governments to consider opening their labour markets to refugees. We will work to strengthen host countries’ and communities’ resilience, assisting them, for example, with employment creation and income generation schemes. In this regard, we recognize the potential of young people and will work to create the conditions for growth, employment and education that will allow them to be the drivers of development.

85. In order to meet the challenges posed by large movements of refugees, close coordination will be required among a range of humanitarian and development actors. We commit to putting those most affected at the centre of planning and action. Host Governments and communities may need support from relevant United Nations entities, local authorities, international financial institutions, regional development banks, bilateral donors, the private sector and civil society. We strongly encourage joint responses involving all such actors in order to strengthen the nexus between humanitarian and development actors, facilitate cooperation across institutional mandates and, by helping to build self-reliance and resilience, lay a basis for sustainable solutions. In addition to meeting direct humanitarian and development needs, we will work to support environmental, social and infrastructural rehabilitation in areas affected by large movements of refugees.

86. We note with concern a significant gap between the needs of refugees and the available resources. We encourage support from a broader range of donors and will take measures to make humanitarian financing more flexible and predictable, with diminished earmarking and increased multi-year funding, in order to close this gap. United Nations entities such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and other relevant organizations require sufficient funding to be able to carry out their activities effectively and in a predictable manner. We welcome the increasing engagement of the World Bank and multilateral development banks and improvements in access to concessional development financing for affected communities. It is clear, furthermore, that private sector investment in support of refugee communities and host countries will be of critical importance over the coming years. Civil society is also a key partner in every region of the world in responding to the needs of refugees.

87. We note that the United States of America, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Jordan, Mexico, Sweden and the Secretary-General will host a high-level meeting on refugees on 20 September 2016.

V. Follow-up to and review of our commitments

88. We recognize that arrangements are needed to ensure systematic follow-up to and review of all of the commitments we are making today. Accordingly, we request the Secretary-General to ensure that the progress made by Member States and the United Nations in implementing the commitments made at today’s high-level meeting will be the subject of periodic assessments provided to the General Assembly with reference, as appropriate, to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

89. In addition, a role in reviewing relevant aspects of the present declaration should be envisaged for the periodic High-level Dialogues on International Migration and Development and for the annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to the General Assembly.

90. In recognition of the need for significant financial and programme support to host countries and communities affected by large movements of refugees and migrants, we request the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its seventy-first session on ways of achieving greater efficiency, operational effectiveness and system-wide coherence, as well as ways of strengthening the engagement of the United Nations with international financial institutions and the private sector, with a view to fully implementing the commitments outlined in the present declaration.

Appendix I
Comprehensive refugee response framework

1. The scale and nature of refugee displacement today requires us to act in a comprehensive and predictable manner in large-scale refugee movements. Through a comprehensive refugee response based on the principles of international cooperation and on burden- and responsibility-sharing, we are better able to protect and assist refugees and to support the host States and communities involved.

2. The comprehensive refugee response framework will be developed and initiated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in close coordination with relevant States, including host countries, and involving other relevant United Nations entities, for each situation involving large movements of refugees. A comprehensive refugee response should involve a multi-stakeholder approach, including national and local authorities, international organizations, international financial institutions, regional organizations, regional coordination and partnership mechanisms, civil society partners, including faith-based organizations and academia, the private sector, media and the refugees themselves.

3. While each large movement of refugees will differ in nature, the elements noted below provide a framework for a comprehensive and people-centred refugee response, which is in accordance with international law and best international practice and adapted to the specific context.

4. We envisage a comprehensive refugee response framework for each situation involving large movements of refugees, including in protracted situations, as an integral and distinct part of an overall humanitarian response, where it exists, and which would normally contain the elements set out below.

Reception and admission

5. At the outset of a large movement of refugees, receiving States, bearing in mind their national capacities and international legal obligations, in cooperation, as appropriate, with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, international organizations and other partners and with the support of other States as requested, in conformity with international obligations, would:

(a) Ensure, to the extent possible, that measures are in place to identify persons in need of international protection as refugees, provide for adequate, safe and dignified reception conditions, with a particular emphasis on persons with specific needs, victims of human trafficking, child protection, family unity, and prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence, and support the critical contribution of receiving communities and societies in this regard;

(b) Take account of the rights, specific needs, contributions and voices of women and girl refugees;

(c) Assess and meet the essential needs of refugees, including by providing access to adequate safe drinking water, sanitation, food, nutrition, shelter, psychosocial support and health care, including sexual and reproductive health, and providing assistance to host countries and communities in this regard, as required;

(d) Register individually and document those seeking protection as refugees, including in the first country where they seek asylum, as quickly as possible upon their arrival. To achieve this, assistance may be needed, in areas such as biometric technology and other technical and financial support, to be coordinated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with relevant actors and partners, where necessary;

(e) Use the registration process to identify specific assistance needs and protection arrangements, where possible, including but not exclusively for refugees with special protection concerns, such as women at risk, children, especially unaccompanied children and children separated from their families, child-headed and single-parent households, victims of trafficking, victims of trauma and survivors of sexual violence, as well as refugees with disabilities and older persons;

(f) Work to ensure the immediate birth registration for all refugee children born on their territory and provide adequate assistance at the earliest opportunity with obtaining other necessary documents, as appropriate, relating to civil status, such as marriage, divorce and death certificates;

(g) Put in place measures, with appropriate legal safeguards, which uphold refugees’ human rights, with a view to ensuring the security of refugees, as well as measures to respond to host countries’ legitimate security concerns;

(h) Take measures to maintain the civilian and humanitarian nature of refugee camps and settlements;

(i) Take steps to ensure the credibility of asylum systems, including through collaboration among the countries of origin, transit and destination and to facilitate the return and readmission of those who do not qualify for refugee status.

Support for immediate and ongoing needs

6. States, in cooperation with multilateral donors and private-sector partners, as appropriate, would, in coordination with receiving States:

(a) Mobilize adequate financial and other resources to cover the humanitarian needs identified within the comprehensive refugee response framework;

(b) Provide resources in a prompt, predictable, consistent and flexible manner, including through wider partnerships involving State, civil society, faith-based and private sector partners;

(c) Take measures to extend the finance lending schemes that exist for developing countries to middle-income countries hosting large numbers of refugees, bearing in mind the economic and social costs to those countries;

(d) Consider establishing development funding mechanisms for such countries;

(e) Provide assistance to host countries to protect the environment and strengthen infrastructure affected by large movements of refugees;

(f) Increase support for cash-based delivery mechanisms and other innovative means for the efficient provision of humanitarian assistance, where appropriate, while increasing accountability to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches its beneficiaries.

7. Host States, in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other United Nations entities, financial institutions and other relevant partners, would, as appropriate:

(a) Provide prompt, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for refugees in accordance with existing humanitarian principles;

(b) Deliver assistance, to the extent possible, through appropriate national and local service providers, such as public authorities for health, education, social services and child protection;

(c) Encourage and empower refugees, at the outset of an emergency phase, to establish supportive systems and networks that involve refugees and host communities and are age- and gender-sensitive, with a particular emphasis on the protection and empowerment of women and children and other persons with specific needs;

(d) Support local civil society partners that contribute to humanitarian responses, in recognition of their complementary contribution;

(e) Ensure close cooperation and encourage joint planning, as appropriate, between humanitarian and development actors and other relevant actors.

Support for host countries and communities

8. States, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and relevant partners would:

(a) Implement a joint, impartial and rapid risk and/or impact assessment, in anticipation or after the onset of a large refugee movement, in order to identify and prioritize the assistance required for refugees, national and local authorities, and communities affected by a refugee presence;

(b) Incorporate, where appropriate, the comprehensive refugee response framework in national development planning, in order to strengthen the delivery of essential services and infrastructure for the benefit of host communities and refugees;

(c) Work to provide adequate resources, without prejudice to official development assistance, for national and local government authorities and other service providers in view of the increased needs and pressures on social services. Programmes should benefit refugees and the host country and communities.

Durable solutions

9. We recognize that millions of refugees around the world at present have no access to timely and durable solutions, the securing of which is one of the principal goals of international protection. The success of the search for solutions depends in large measure on resolute and sustained international cooperation and support.

10. We believe that actions should be taken in pursuit of the following durable solutions: voluntary repatriation, local solutions and resettlement and complementary pathways for admission. These actions should include the elements set out below.

11. We reaffirm the primary goal of bringing about conditions that would help refugees return in safety and dignity to their countries and emphasize the need to tackle the root causes of violence and armed conflict and to achieve necessary political solutions and the peaceful settlement of disputes, as well as to assist in reconstruction efforts. In this context, States of origin/nationality would:

(a) Acknowledge that everyone has the right to leave any country, including his or her own, and to return to his or her country;

(b) Respect this right and also respect the obligation to receive back their nationals, which should occur in a safe, dignified and humane manner and with full respect for human rights in accordance with obligations under international law;

(c) Provide necessary identification and travel documents;

(d) Facilitate the socioeconomic reintegration of returnees;

(e) Consider measures to enable the restitution of property.

12. To ensure sustainable return and reintegration, States, United Nations organizations and relevant partners would:

(a) Recognize that the voluntary nature of repatriation is necessary as long as refugees continue to require international protection, that is, as long as they cannot regain fully the protection of their own country;

(b) Plan for and support measures to encourage voluntary and informed repatriation, reintegration and reconciliation;

(c) Support countries of origin/nationality, where appropriate, including through funding for rehabilitation, reconstruction and development, and with the necessary legal safeguards to enable refugees to access legal, physical and other support mechanisms needed for the restoration of national protection and their reintegration;

(d) Support efforts to foster reconciliation and dialogue, particularly with refugee communities and with the equal participation of women and youth, and to ensure respect for the rule of law at the national and local levels;

(e) Facilitate the participation of refugees, including women, in peace and reconciliation processes, and ensure that the outcomes of such processes duly support their return in safety and dignity;

(f) Ensure that national development planning incorporates the specific needs of returnees and promotes sustainable and inclusive reintegration, as a measure to prevent future displacement.

13. Host States, bearing in mind their capacities and international legal obligations, in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, where appropriate, and other United Nations entities, financial institutions and other relevant partners, would:

(a) Provide legal stay to those seeking and in need of international protection as refugees, recognizing that any decision regarding permanent settlement in any form, including possible naturalization, rests with the host country;

(b) Take measures to foster self-reliance by pledging to expand opportunities for refugees to access, as appropriate, education, health care and services, livelihood opportunities and labour markets, without discriminating among refugees and in a manner which also supports host communities;

(c) Take measures to enable refugees, including in particular women and youth, to make the best use of their skills and capacities, recognizing that empowered refugees are better able to contribute to their own and their communities’ well-being;

(d) Invest in building human capital, self-reliance and transferable skills as an essential step towards enabling long-term solutions.

14. Third countries would:

(a) Consider making available or expanding, including by encouraging private sector engagement and action as a supplementary measure, resettlement opportunities and complementary pathways for admission of refugees through such means as medical evacuation and humanitarian admission programmes, family reunification and opportunities for skilled migration, labour mobility and education;

(b) Commit to sharing best practices, providing refugees with sufficient information to make informed decisions and safeguarding protection standards;

(c) Consider broadening the criteria for resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes in mass displacement and protracted situations, coupled with, as appropriate, temporary humanitarian evacuation programmes and other forms of admission.

15. States that have not yet established resettlement programmes are encouraged to do so at the earliest opportunity. Those that have already done so are encouraged to consider increasing the size of their programmes. Such programmes should incorporate a non-discriminatory approach and a gender perspective throughout.

16. States aim to provide resettlement places and other legal pathways on a scale that would enable the annual resettlement needs identified by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to be met.

The way forward

17. We commit to implementing this comprehensive refugee response framework.

18. We invite the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to engage with States and consult with all relevant stakeholders over the coming two years, with a view to evaluating the detailed practical application of the comprehensive refugee response framework and assessing the scope for refinement and further development. This process should be informed by practical experience with the implementation of the framework in a range of specific situations. The objective would be to ease pressures on the host countries involved, to enhance refugee self-reliance, to expand access to third-country solutions and to support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.

19. We will work towards the adoption in 2018 of a global compact on refugees, based on the comprehensive refugee response framework and on the outcomes of the process described above. We invite the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to include such a proposed global compact on refugees in his annual report to the General Assembly in 2018, for consideration by the Assembly at its seventy-third session in conjunction with its annual resolution on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Appendix II
Towards a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration

I. Introduction

1. This year, we will launch a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

2. The global compact would set out a range of principles, commitments and understandings among Member States regarding international migration in all its dimensions. It would make an important contribution to global governance and enhance coordination on international migration. It would present a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on migrants and human mobility. It would deal with all aspects of international migration, including the humanitarian, developmental, human rights-related and other aspects of migration. It would be guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, and informed by the Declaration of the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development adopted in October 2013.

II. Context

3. We acknowledge the important contribution made by migrants and migration to development in countries of origin, transit and destination, as well as the complex interrelationship between migration and development.

4. We recognize the positive contribution of migrants to sustainable and inclusive development. We also recognize that international migration is a multidimensional reality of major relevance for the development of countries of origin, transit and destination, which requires coherent and comprehensive responses.

5. We will cooperate internationally to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration involving full respect for human rights and the humane treatment of migrants, regardless of migration status. We underline the need to ensure respect for the dignity of migrants and the protection of their rights under applicable international law, including the principle of non-discrimination under international law.

6. We emphasize the multidimensional character of international migration, the importance of international, regional and bilateral cooperation and dialogue in this regard, and the need to protect the human rights of all migrants, regardless of status, particularly at a time when migration flows have increased.

7. We bear in mind that policies and initiatives on the issue of migration should promote holistic approaches that take into account the causes and consequences of the phenomenon. We acknowledge that poverty, underdevelopment, lack of opportunities, poor governance and environmental factors are among the drivers of migration. In turn, pro-poor policies relating to trade, employment and productive investments can stimulate growth and create enormous development potential. We note that international economic imbalances, poverty and environmental degradation, combined with the absence of peace and security and lack of respect for human rights, are all factors affecting international migration.

III. Content

8. The global compact could include, but would not be limited to, the following elements:

(a) International migration as a multidimensional reality of major relevance for the development of countries of origin, transit and destination, as recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

(b) International migration as a potential opportunity for migrants and their families;

(c) The need to address the drivers of migration, including through strengthened efforts in development, poverty eradication and conflict prevention and resolution;

(d) The contribution made by migrants to sustainable development and the complex interrelationship between migration and development;

(e) The facilitation of safe, orderly, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies; this may include the creation and expansion of safe, regular pathways for migration;

(f) The scope for greater international cooperation, with a view to improving migration governance;

(g) The impact of migration on human capital in countries of origin;

(h) Remittances as an important source of private capital and their contribution to development and promotion of faster, cheaper and safer transfers of remittances through legal channels, in both source and recipient countries, including through a reduction in transaction costs;

(i) Effective protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, including women and children, regardless of their migratory status, and the specific needs of migrants in vulnerable situations;

(j) International cooperation for border control, with full respect for the human rights of migrants;

(k) Combating trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and contemporary forms of slavery;

(l) Identifying those who have been trafficked and considering providing assistance, including temporary or permanent residency, and work permits, as appropriate;

(m) Reduction of the incidence and impact of irregular migration;

(n) Addressing the situations of migrants in countries in crisis;

(o) Promotion, as appropriate, of the inclusion of migrants in host societies, access to basic services for migrants and gender-responsive services;

(p) Consideration of policies to regularize the status of migrants;

(q) Protection of labour rights and a safe environment for migrant workers and those in precarious employment, protection of women migrant workers in all sectors and promotion of labour mobility, including circular migration;

(r) The responsibilities and obligations of migrants towards host countries;

(s) Return and readmission, and improving cooperation in this regard between countries of origin and destination;

(t) Harnessing the contribution of diasporas and strengthening links with countries of origin;

(u) Combating racism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance towards all migrants;

(v) Disaggregated data on international migration;

(w) Recognition of foreign qualifications, education and skills and cooperation in access to and portability of earned benefits;

(x) Cooperation at the national, regional and international levels on all aspects of migration.

IV. The way forward

9. The global compact would be elaborated through a process of intergovernmental negotiations, for which preparations will begin immediately. The negotiations, which will begin in early 2017, are to culminate in an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018 at which the global compact will be presented for adoption.

10. As the Third High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development is to be held in New York no later than 2019, a role should be envisaged for the High-level Dialogue in the process.

11. The President of the General Assembly is invited to make early arrangements for the appointment of two co-facilitators to lead open, transparent and inclusive consultations with States, with a view to the determination of modalities, a timeline, the possible holding of preparatory conferences and other practicalities relating to the intergovernmental negotiations, including the integration of Geneva-based migration expertise.

12. The Secretary-General is requested to provide appropriate support for the negotiations. We envisage that the Secretariat of the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration would jointly service the negotiations, the former providing capacity and support and the latter extending the technical and policy expertise required.

13. We envisage also that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration and Development would coordinate the contributions to be made to the negotiation process by the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the Global Migration Group. We envisage that the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other entities with significant mandates and expertise related to migration would contribute to the process.

14. Regional consultations in support of the negotiations would be desirable, including through existing consultative processes and mechanisms, where appropriate.

15. Civil society, the private sector, diaspora communities and migrant organizations would be invited to contribute to the process for the preparation of the global compact.

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