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Mobilizing African NHRIs and Civil Society for contributing to the elaboration of Global Compact on Migration

African National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and civil society who attended a special event on “The role of African NHRIs in the negotiations process leading to the adoption of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration”, organized on 7 May 2017 in Niamey, Niger, underlined the importance of sensitizing and mobilizing African NHRIs and civil society for an active contribution to negotiations on the Global Compact to be adopted in 2018.

This event was organized jointly by the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI), the National Human Rights Council of Morocco (CNDH), as NANHRI focal point in the group created in this issue by the Global Alliance of NHRIs (GANHRI), and the National Human Rights Commission of Niger.

70 participants attended this event and represented 12 NHRIs (Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameron, Rwanda, South Africa, Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, and Denmark), members of African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), Moroccan, African and International NGOs, as well as migration experts and African Union.


Moroccan Civil society present at this event were: GADEM “Anti–racist group defending and assisting foreigners and migrants”, OMDH “Moroccan Human Rights Organization”, Association le Médiateur pour la démocratie et les droits de l’Homme “Mediator Association for Democracy and Human Rights”, le Centre d’étude en droits humains et démocratie “ Center for studies on human rights and democracy”, and l’Observatoire du sahara pour la paix et les droits de l’Homme “Sahara observatory for peace and human rights”.

On this occasion, the participants shared their experiences and their practices as well as the challenges encountered in the promotion and protection of migrants’ rights. They highlighted the mandates that they undertake and the role that they can play in this regards, mainly reporting, data collection, harmonization of national legislation with international human rights instruments, complaint handling, mediation, awareness-raising and advocacy for the adoption of institutional and judicial frameworks, as well as policies and national action plans on migration. Advice and proposals to governments and parliaments for a better implementation of the rights of migrants is also an important role that can be played by NHRIs and NGOs.

The participants also highlighted that large trends of migration have political, economic, social and humanitarian ramifications which are felt across all borders. These are global phenomena which need global approaches and solutions. No State can manage these trends on its own. African Countries are affected in a disproportional manner. The participants also recognized the importance of a single, coherent and harmonized African vision about migration.

For these reasons, NHRIs and NGOs must play an important role in the elaboration process of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The essential role of NHRIs in the UN human rights system is outlined in Resolution 70/163, adopted by the UN General assembly in 2015, and reiterated in the draft resolution of the General Assembly on modalities for the intergovernmental negotiations of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

More specifically, NHRIs can contribute to the intergovernmental conference and its consultation process, mainly informal interactive and multi-stakeholder hearings. It was thus underlined that NHRI and civil society participation is highly desirable in the different phases leading to the adoption of the Global Compact, namely:

-  Phase I on consultations in Geneva, Vienna and New York, which began in April and will end in November 2017;

-  Phase II on stocktaking to be held between November 2017 and January 2018;

-  Phase III on State negotiations to be held from February 2018 to July 2018.