Building on the previous national consultations on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the recently adopted GCM, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) and its network continues to engage on the implementation, follow up, and recommendation (IFUR) stage of the Compact. In collaboration with the Centre for Migrant Advocacy (CMA), MFA organized the Philippine Civil Society (CSO) Consultation on the Global Compact for Migration on 1 March 2019 in Manila, Philippines.
Several governments during the Marrakesh Migration Week have recognized the critical role that civil societies play in determining the future of the Global Compact, on whether it will succeed or fail. Throughout the years, civil societies have accumulated extensive knowledge and experience while providing support to distressed migrants. Civil society organizations (CSOs) have been working at the grassroots level to promote and protect the rights and welfare of migrants which allows CSOs to comprehend their needs and link it up to the current local and national policies. It is then up to the government and civil society to ensure that the objectives and principles of the Compact are embedded in national priorities and action plans. A national action plan drawn up and committed to by all relevant stakeholders provides an avenue for the Compact to be localized in the sense that the plan will incorporate the issues and concerns of migrants in the country.
The national consultation had the following objectives:
1. To identify the national focus areas of different government agencies and civil societies working directly on migration vis a vis the twenty-three (23) objectives prior to the consultation meeting;
2. To review the matrix of national focus areas together with all stakeholders and actors in the meeting and commit to the action plans mentioned in the matrix; and
3. To develop a follow up strategy plan in terms of the implementation of the national focus areas.
The consultation brought together migrant organizations, trade unions, migrant families, faith based organizations and representatives of UN agencies to discuss the implementation, follow-up and review in the Philippines of the Global Compact for Migration.
William Gois, regional coordinator of Migrant Forum in Asia provided an overview of the history of the compact and discussed the role of Civil Society and national engagement in the implementation, follow-up and review of the compact. He encouraged the participants to prove that the Philippines could truly be an agent of change in the implementation of the GCM both nationally and globally. He emphasized that Global Compact on Mobility is the new face in the coming centuries not only labour migration. The Philippine government should commit to the implementation of the compact, integrate it in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and be guided with all of government and all of the society approach.
Ellene Sana, of the Centre for Migrant Advocacy provided updates on the outcome of the Marrakesh Migration week where Governments adopted the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). She emphasized that despite the GCM being non-binding, 162 countries signed the compact and committed to its implementation in Marrakesh, Morocco. The Philippines was actively participating in the consultation, negotiations and adoption of the GCM. The Philippine government also initiated consultations with stakeholders including CSOs in the lead up the negotiations of the GCM. It is important for CSOs to seize the opportunity and take the Philippine government to task in its commitment to implement the GCM.
During the consultation participants identified focus areas from the 23 objectives of the GCM. Recommendations from the previous Philippine consultation on the GCM were also revisited to see how these can be linked to the compact objectives, discuss what is being done by the Government, and what needs to be improved in line with the implementation of the GCM and the 2030 SDGs. The recommendations put forward in the national consultation will be presented to the Philippine Government as part of the advocacy for the implementation, follow-up and review of the GCM.
For more information please contact William Gois of the MFA Secretariat at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please find below photos from the program.