The UN estimated that 1 in every 30 people in the world is a migrant. This means about 258 million migrants across the globe, and 28 million are counted as migrant youth. Kenya estimates 3 million Kenyans are living overseas and the country received over KSH195 billion remittances in 2017. The country also hosts over 1 million international migrants which include refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia, South Sudan, Congo and Ethiopia.
The Global Compact on Migration (GCM) is the first-ever negotiated global framework on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. The Compact is the product of an intensive process (from 2016) of negotiations providing a strong platform for cooperation on migration now and into the future, drawing on best practice and international law, to make migration safe and positive for all.The Compact engaged a broad alliance of partners, including civil society, the private sector, trade unions, diaspora and migrant communities, national human rights institutions, local authorities, youth networks and other actors. The GCM was adopted by a majority of UN Member States on 10 December 2018 in Marrakesh, Morocco. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) signed the Compact on 19 December 2018 in New York, USA.
The Government of Kenya participated in the series of GCM consultations and sent a high-level delegation to Morroco. The Kenya delegation was led by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Patrick Keturet Ole Ntutu. He delivered the Kenya statement on behalf of President Kenyatta, and urged “the world to adopt the Global Compact for Migration because its 23 objectives present a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on all categories of migrants.”
He also cited IOM’s support in the work of the National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM) which has become a trailblazer in the region, including the development a national migration policy and the recent launch of the post-graduate diploma in Migration Studies. IOM Kenya Chief of Mission Michael Pillinger, welcomed the GCM signing and stated, “although the Compact is non-legally binding, the key is the promotion of “whole of society” approach to involve all key stakeholders especially the migrants themselves towards making migration safer and by informed choice for all. We stand ready to support Kenya for the GCM implementation.”
IOM Director General António Vitorino, during the GCM signing said that, “The Global Compact comes at an important moment. “It contains within it the promise of an evidence-based less politically charged discourse on migration, a plan for developing more comprehensive policies to improve the lives of migrants and the communities in which they live, and the possibility to reduce dangerous, chaotic and irregular migration flows”. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, during the UN General
Assembly adoption of the GCM, cited that “At a time when international cooperation is more important than ever, this new Global Compact provides a platform for precisely that. It calls for greater solidarity with migrants in situations of appalling vulnerability and abuse. It underscores the need to anticipate future trends, from labour markets to the impacts of climate change. And it highlights the imperative of devising more legal pathways for migration, which would also help to crack down on trafficking and exploitation.”
The United Nations system is committed to supporting the implementation of the Global Compact through the creation of the UN Network on Migration: a collaborative community of United Nations entities coming together to provide effective and coordinated support to Member States and other partners in carrying forward the objectives agreed to in Marrakech.This Network will leverage the impact of the United Nations’ considerable expertise and capacity in helping to strengthen the benefits of migration and to address its many challenges. The Network has 38 entities from within the United Nations system.The Director General of IOM is the Coordinator of the Network.
An Executive Committee of eight provides strategic oversight and is the principal decision-making body of the Network. Members of the Executive Committee are: the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA); the International Labour Organization (ILO); the International Organization for Migration (IOM); the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).