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The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement

GCM Commentary: Objective 4: Ensure that all migrants have proof of legal identity and adequate documentation

Blog post written by Amal de Chickera (Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion) 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 4 of the Global Compact on Migration aims to “Ensure that all migrants have proof of legal identity and adequate documentation”. The objective itself is framed slightly differently to how it was in the Zero Draft, which set out to ‘Provide all migrants with proof of legal identity, proper identification and documentation’. The difference between the two versions is subtle. However, the deeper we go into the text of the Objective, the clearer it becomes that this is a watered-down version of the Zero Draft, which has lost many of the positive features of that draft while introducing some negative ones. The overall conclusion to be drawn is that in this ‘final’ form, it is difficult to see how Objective 4 adds to existing obligations that states have towards migrants under international human rights law; whereas some of the language actually represents a softening of such obligations. Further, there is evidently a clear drive towards promoting better cooperation among states, towards what appears to be an unspoken objective of keeping ‘unwanted’ migrants out.


Full blog post here



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