Implications of Migration

Read the selection and then answer the questions

Adapted from the ‘Global Compact for Migration’, also available to read here The New York Declaration

For the first time on 19 September 2016 Heads of State and Government came together to discuss, at the global level within the UN General Assembly, issues related to migration and refugees. This sent an important political message that migration and refugee matters have become major issues in the international agenda. In adopting the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the 193 UN Member States recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation at the global level and committed to: protect the safety, dignity and human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, and at all times; support countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants; Integrate migrants – addressing their needs and capacities as well as those of receiving communities – in humanitarian and development assistance frameworks and planning; combat xenophobia, racism and discrimination towards all migrants; develop, through a state-led process, non-binding principles and voluntary guidelines on the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations; and strengthen global governance of migration, including by bringing IOM into the UN family and through the development of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

The Global Compact is the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, covering all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. It is a non-binding document that respects states’ sovereign right to determine who enters and stays in their territory and demonstrates commitment to international cooperation on migration. It presents a significant opportunity to improve the governance of migration, to address the challenges associated with today’s migration, and to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

The Global Compact is designed to:

  • support international cooperation on the governance of international migration;
  • provide a comprehensive menu of options for States from which they can select policy options to address some of the most pressing issues around international migration; and
  • give states the space and flexibility to pursue implementation based on their own migration realities and capacities.

The Global Compact is framed consistent with target 10.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in which Member States committed to cooperate internationally to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration and its scope is defined in Annex II of the New York Declaration. It is intended to:

  • address all aspects of international migration, including the humanitarian, developmental, human rights-related and other aspects;
  • make an important contribution to global governance and enhance coordination on international migration;
  • present a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on migrants and human mobility;
  • set out a range of actionable commitments, means of implementation and a framework for follow-up and review among Member States regarding international migration in all its dimensions;
  • be guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and
  • be informed by the Declaration of the 2013 High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.

Adapted from ‘Media Coverage on Migration: Promoting a Balanced Reporting’, published by IOM in 2017

Migration and asylum policy is as much about reality as it is about perception – perception by policy makers/ politicians and by citizens/voters of what is happening and how it can be managed. International migration and asylum seeking are complex phenomena depending on a number of factors and conditions – social, political and economic – which go beyond national borders and jurisdictions, and are highly dynamic and interactive. Media reporting more often than not privileges simple black and white accounts of such complex phenomena, subjugated to dominant discourses on who belongs and who are the ‘aliens’, the ‘outsiders’. What remains untold are the positive stories of migration and asylum (that do not make headlines) as well as the ways in which news are constructed through specific media routines that tend to ignore the perspective of migrants and refugees themselves, and which actually de facto exclude migrant journalists from the media industry. While the recent refugee emergency has attracted widespread media coverage and public attention, it should not prevent us from looking at migration coverage in the media in the long-term highlighting persisting problems not only in media coverage but also in migrant involvement in journalism as well as journalists equality and diversity training. Media coverage on migration reflects to a large extent the different migration histories and experiences of European countries as well as their wider context of implementing equality legislation. Thus, media outlets in old countries of destination such as the Netherlands or the UK provide diversity training and may have ethnic quotas in recruitment. This is not the case in more recent host countries like Greece or Italy let alone EU countries with less migration such as Poland. While political leadership in promoting a view of migration as a structural feature of human history and of modern societies and giving a positive tone to the national ‘migration narrative’ is of paramount importance, a number of measures can be taken to ensure balanced coverage of migration issues and increase migrant journalist participation in mainstream media.


  1. In your own words, summarize the six key points addressed in the 2016 New York Declaration?

  2. The text mentions that the Global Compact for Migration presents three significant opportunities as it relates to migration. What are they?

  3. Write a short paragraph explaining why official statements like the Global Compact for Migration and the New York Declaration are important for the promotion of better international migration policy.

  4. According to the text, what are some of the problems with ‘black and white’ accounts of complicated migration media stories?