“Mejo”: We call on the African and Arab countries to ratify and implement the Global Compact for Migration
“Boudley”: Programs developed by international organizations target a very limited number, which makes it difficult to implement any agreements
"Ndoshabandi": International and national propaganda has deepened the problems of migrants and directed hate speeches against them
"Abdel-Raouf": Irregular migrants are subjected to inhuman treatment in detention centers that must be stopped
On the sidelines of the 69th regular session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) in a virtual event held by Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights Association entitled "The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration...Failures and Successes in Africa", Maat called on the African countries to join the Global Compact for Migration, adapt and launch the commensurate national programs and to participate in the voluntary review of the “International Migration Review Forum” in order to achieve the goals of the Global Compact.
Khristina Mejo, Senior Regional Liaison and Policy Officer for the International Organization for Migration - Regional Office Middle East and North Africa, said that there is an urgent need to empower local communities to respond to the growing needs of migrants in Africa and she called for supporting and empowering migrants and their families by informing them of their rights and investing in their skills. Moreover, the international expert called on the African and Arab countries to ratify and implement the main conventions and protocols related to the rights of migrants, particularly the Global Compact for Migration, and recommended strengthening the national and regional information systems and databases to support planning and policies.
Khaled Boudli, President of the Moroccan Key Association for Peace for Development and Solidarity and Vice-President of the African ECOSOC for North Africa, stated that the programs and plans that are being developed by international organizations target a very limited numbers, which facilities the talks on any agreements with African countries, but at the same makes it difficult to actually implement and apply such agreements. The expert in the migration file called for making the Global Compact for Migration a part of the national plans of the African countries. He also pointed out to the conflict between the African Union and member states and said that each party imposes the law from its perspective.
Eric Ndoshabande, Director of the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace in Rwanda, said that there are significant challenges to controlling irregular migration in Africa and protecting the rights of migrants. He pointed out that African governments have problems in supporting and providing social protection for migrants, or even developing appropriate frameworks and laws that guarantee such control and protection. He added that the role of international and national propaganda regarding the issue of migrants, has often contributed to deepening the problem of migrants, through the sarcastic contents or contents that promote hate speeches against them. He emphasized the need to develop national programs related to national capabilities through supportive dialogue in order to provide protection for migrants.
Mennatalla Abdelraouf, the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Maat for International Human Rights Mechanisms, confirmed that the refugee file receives great attention within the international mechanisms for the protection of human rights, especially in the sessions of the Human Rights Council, the fact-finding committees, and the universal periodic review mechanism. Abdelraouf focused in particular on the inhumane treatment of irregular migrants in African detention centers and recommended the need to provide them with decent conditions in detention facilities. The human rights expert also stressed the urgent need for African media to carry out awareness-raising campaigns targeting the general public with information about migrants and their rights in order to help curb rampant racism, discrimination, exploitative practices, and misconceptions.
It is noteworthy that Maat is holding this webinar on the sidelines of its participation in the 69th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, which focused in its work on the role of African civil society in support and advocacy for the accession and activation of the Global Compact for Migration in African countries.