World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Migrants’ Rights under Threat with US Nomination to Head IOM

Brussels, 21 February 2018 (ITUC OnLine): At the end of this year, member States of the United Nations will adopt a Global Compact on Migration (GCM), following a series of intergovernmental negotiations. A “zero draft” of the GCM was published on Monday 5 February: 2018 .

Expectations are high that the GCM will deliver commitments and actions from the international community that will promote a fair migration agenda, protect the human and labour rights of migrants and dissipate rising racism and xenophobia, typified by the scapegoating of migrants. Nothing less will do.

The United Nations system as a whole must also be ready to assist member States and stakeholders, including trade unions and civil society, with the implementation of the GCM, in a manner that is consistent with, and reinforces, existing international human and labour rights treaties.

With this in mind, the international trade union movement is dismayed by the decision of the Trump administration to nominate Ken Isaacs as a candidate for the position of Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Ken Isaacs has an acknowledged history of anti-Islamic statements and of denying the relevance of climate change to migration trends.

The decision of the United States government to withdraw from the GCM process, coupled with the nomination of Ken Isaacs to head the IOM, is a clear indication that the US government shares no interest in the ambition described in the zero draft for a Global Compact on Migration that is “people-centered”, based on the “rule of law and due process”, anchored in “human rights” and with an approach that supports “sustainable development”.

As negotiations of the zero draft begin, we call on all UN member States to stand by the commitment to a rights-based approach. The UN system as a whole must itself must be ready to assist member States in ensuring such an approach. A coherent and effective follow-up by the UN system means that any role for the IOM, now a UN-related agency, would necessitate a review and overhaul of the IOM’s current status as “an independent, autonomous and non-normative international organization in the working relationship with the United Nations”. The IOM would need to adopt formally the UN normative framework on human rights and ensure strong mechanisms for civil society engagement.

The ITUC represents 207 million members of 331 affiliates in 163 countries and territories.

Follow us on the web: and

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>


Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>


For NZ, It Was May 6: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 Is The Earliest Ever

Humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths... More>>


Asylum: More Manus Refugees Fly To US But Hundreds Still In Limbo

“The US deal was never going to provide enough places for the refugees Australia has held on Manus and Nauru. There are over 1800 refugees needing resettlement,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. More>>