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PSI welcomes the adoption of the UN Global Compact on Migration

12 December 2018

Led by PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli, PSI came to Marrakesh with a 45-member strong trade union delegation. In addition to participating in the Adoption Conference, PSI organised a Strategy workshop and participated in the civil society days of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, the Peoples Global Action and in the Global Unions Forum on Migration. On the eve of the Adoption Conference, PSI also organized a side event to promote a Stakeholders' Dialogue on Health Worker Migration and the Global Skills Partnerships, with the support of EPSU, WHO, FES and the German Federal Government.

Statement to the UN Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

10-11 December 2018, Marrakesh

We welcome the adoption of the UN Global Compact on Migration.

Migration is a natural feature of civilisation, driven by natural and human-made factors, and inseparable from globalisation. Those Member States who refuse to sig

n the Compact show a myopic vision of this reality.

Trade unions welcome the opportunity to be part of this international cooperation within the multilateral framework of the United Nations.

It is important to view migration holistically, addressing the opportunities and challenges in the whole migration cycle, with priority placed on the protection and promotion of the human rights of all migrants, while equally addressing sustainable development, root causes and drivers.

We welcome the GCM’s commitment in Objective 2 (drivers and structural factors) and its alignment with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It provides the strong argument to invest in quality public services in both countries of origin and destination.

Public services are the bedrock of solidarity. Public services are human rights.

Differentiating access to services between regular and irregular migrants represents discrimination and a weakness in the GCM that must be overcome (Objective 15). Cooperation between service providers and immigration authorities should include a clear agreement of separation of functions.

Quality public services support the delivery of social protection. It is imperative to invest in public services, ensuring adequate and well-trained staff delivering them in safe and decent conditions

We need to keep public services in public hands.

PSI condemns the racist and xenophobic narrative of using migrants as scapegoats for rising inequality and presents a critique of how austerity measures and security orientation are fuelling these.

We welcome the GCM being grounded on the rights-based normative framework, and support actions towards ratification and implementation of the UN and ILO Conventions.

PSI promotes fair and ethical recruitment and safeguarding conditions for decent work for all (Objective 6). In advancing the ILO Guidelines for Fair Recruitment, PSI continues its global campaign on #NoRecruitmentFees imposed on migrant workers.

States have the ultimate responsibility to govern and regulate international recruitment in line with human rights norms and labour standards.

We support government-to-government recruitment, particularly on health worker migration. We continue to build on the best practice example of the Germany-Philippines bilateral labour agreement (BLA) on Nurses.

Inclusion of trade unions in global skills partnerships is essential (Objective 18). However, development of GSPs need to be treated with care and vigilance, to ensure compliance with decent work, labour rights and inclusive participation of trade unions and civil society. Sustainable development, human rights and equity issues must be fully incorporated in these discussions. In the health and education sectors, reference to UN and ILO Conventions and the WHO Code of Practice is an important starting point.

We welcome the gender-responsive and child-sensitive commitments in the GCM.

In welcoming a strong role of the ILO in the UN Migration Network, PSI reiterates the position of the trade union movement for a strong rights-based approach, access to decent work, quality public services and social protection and the promotion of social dialogue as a key mechanism in the implementation aspects of the GCM.


#SolidarityWithRefugees - PSI has launched a series of videos on building quality public services for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. These videos are part of the PSI project on “Trade Unions, Human Rights and Quality Public Services for Refugees and Migrants in the MENA region” that PSI is implementing in partnership with Union to Union and the PSI Swedish affiliates (Vårdförbundet, Vision, Fackförbundet ST, Akademikerförbundet SSR and Kommunal).

Quality public HEALTHCARE for all 

Building quality public healthcare for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Quality public EDUCATION for all 

Building quality public education for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Quality public services for all

Building quality public services for Syrian refugees in Lebanon


Building quality public services in Lebanon

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