Using Detention to Talk About the Elephant in the Room

“Using detention to talk about the elephant in the room: the Global Compact for Migration and the significance of its neglect of the UN Migrant Workers Convention” – M. Grange and I. Majcher, International Journal of Law in Context

In an article for the International Journal of Law in Context, GDP Advisor Mariette Grange and former GDP Researcher Izabella Majcher discuss the (unsteady) evolution of multilateral processes on migration since the 1980s, with a focus on immigration detention as a growing response to migratory movements. It identifies distinct periods leading up to the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

The paper exposes double standards in the treatment of migration at the UN and beyond, connected with states’ view of migration as a toxic topic. While the GCM put the issue of migration back on the global agenda, the paper argues against the claim that the GCM is the first-ever inter-governmentally negotiated agreement covering all dimensions of international migration. This description better fits the 1990 Migrant Workers Convention. Furthermore, the paper illustrates how the GCM poses a threat to human rights protection in the area of migration: given its focus on co-operation and a state-led non-binding approach, it may overshadow existing international norms and widely endorsed standards monitored by UN bodies.

Read the full article here.