Global Compact for Migration
Syrian refugees crossing the Serbian-Croatian border. © Francesco Malavolta/IOM 2015

Global Compact for Migration, Explained

Over 180 countries are endorsing what is known as the Global Compact for Migration. The text of this non-binding agreement was finalized over the summer, and countries are meeting in Marrakech, Morocco on December 10th and 11th to formally launch the Compact.

There is a great deal of misinformation being spread, mostly by right wing governments in Europe in the US, about what this agreement entails.

In this episode of the podcast, we set the record straight about the Global Compact for Migration

This agreement is not a treaty. Rather, it is an agreed set of principles and creates a kind of platform for multilateral and bilateral cooperation around issues of international migration.

On the line to explain the Global Compact for Migration, better known around the UN as the “GCM” is Alice Thomas of Refugees International.  I caught up with Alice Thomas from Marrakech where she was participating in civil society forums around the Compact. We discuss both the content of the Compact and its potential impact on destination countries, origin countries and migrants themselves. We also discuss the impact of the non-participation of a few countries in this compact, including the United States and some countries in Europe.

If you have 20 minutes and want to a primer on the Global Compact For Migration, have a listen –>

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About Alice Thomas

Alice Thomas is the Climate Displacement Program Manager at Refugees International. An expert on vulnerable communities displaced by extreme weather and climate change, Ms. Thomas has more than 15 years of experience in international environmental law and policy and humanitarian affairs. She launched the Climate Displacement Program at Refugees International in 2010 to advocate for solutions to address the impact of disasters and climate change on forced migration of vulnerable communities around the globe. Since joining RI, Ms. Thomas has conducted over a dozen independent assessments of the response to humanitarian crises brought on by extreme weather events including in Puerto Rico, Haiti, Somalia, and the Philippines. She has presented her findings to government and UN officials, and at numerous think tanks including the Brookings Institution and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Platform on Disaster Displacement (Nansen Initiative) and of the Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility, which provides technical support to state parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Prior to joining RI, Ms. Thomas was a staff attorney in the International Program at EarthJustice where she devised legal strategies to mitigate climate pollution and address climate impacts on vulnerable populations. She has also held several positions at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative including as Deputy Director of the Asia Law Initiative. She started her career in private law practice. She received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School and a B.A. in History from Princeton University.

Twitter: @AliceRThomas