Open Letter from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Global Compact on Migration

In February 2018, with discussions under way at the United Nations on crafting a Global Compact on Migration, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released this open letter encouraging states to adhere to their commitment to develop “a compact that explicitly recognises and fully conforms to the existing international human rights framework as the authoritative protection agenda for all migrants.” Regarding detention, the letter states that the “global compact should commit states to implement as a matter of urgency their pledge to review and amend policies that criminalize cross-border movement, to establish a presumption against immigration detention in law, and to end all detention of children.”

The Global Detention Project has been deeply involved in civil society efforts to shape discussions on the Global Compact, including providing expert advice to OHCHR on its efforts to develop a set of Principles and guidelines, supported by practical guidance, on the human rights protection of migrants in vulnerable situations, which the High Commissioner for Human Rights references in this open letter, urging states “to ensure that this practical guidance is incorporated and operationalized in the global compact.”

For more on the GDP’s contributions to the Global Compact discussion, see:


Global Compact