skip to primary navigationskip to content

GCM Commentary: Objective 15: Provide access to basic services for migrants

last modified Nov 22, 2018 11:01 AM

Blog post written by Bethany Hastie (University of British Columbia) and forms part of a series of blog posts analysing the final draft (objective by objective) of the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.


Objective 15 aims to ensure that all migrants, regardless of migration status, have access to basic services. This objective carries forward the rights contained in international human rights law, including especially in the ICESCR, which delineates rights to housing, health care, and education, and requires states to guarantee such rights in a non-discriminatory manner.


Migrants are often either formally or practically excluded from access to basic services, including health care, education, housing, legal aid, social benefits such as employment insurance, protection of law enforcement bodies, labour organizations, and others. They are often subject to continuing discrimination under law and in practice, increasing the difficulty of accessing basic services. Immigration policies and practices in countries across the globe have targeted hospitals, schools and similar locations for enforcement operations, exacerbating the risks migrants face in accessing basic services. These issues have been documented by policy organizations, scholars, and international bodies, and efforts to address these issues through legislation and policy have been undertaken, such as by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.


Objective 15 sets out general recommendations to reduce the legal and social barriers migrant workers face in accessing basic services, and to improve access, including by: ensuring non-discriminatory treatment under the law; ensuring that cooperation with immigration authorities does not exacerbate the vulnerability of migrants; establishing accessible access points for services that are inclusive and non-discriminatory; and, establishing a national mechanism for complaints and monitoring. Objective 15 also makes specific recommendations regarding access to health care and education, communicating heightened importance in relation to those two services.


Full blog post here



Logo: ©GCMigration