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GCM Commentary: Objective 21: Cooperate in facilitating safe and dignified return and readmission, as well as sustainable reintegration

last modified Nov 14, 2018 01:50 PM

Blog post written by Dr Izabella Majcher, a Refugee Law Initiative Research Affiliate specialised in EU immigration and asylum policy. Izabella is a researcher at the Global Detention Project and a volunteer visitor to immigration detainees with the Ligue Suisse des Droits de l’Homme. She holds a PhD in international law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva. This blog 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 21 of the Final Draft of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) addresses the process of expulsion, which, in the GCM, comprises three measures, notably return, readmission, and reintegration. Regarding return, states commit to facilitate safe and dignified return and to guarantee due process, individual assessment, and effective remedy by upholding the prohibition of collective expulsion and of return to a risk of serious human rights violations. Under the readmission component, states commit to duly receive and readmit their nationals. Finally, the measures aimed at sustainable reintegration include personal safety, economic empowerment, inclusion, and social cohesion. In order to realise this triple commitment, Objective 21 proposes nine sets of actions, detailed in para.37(a)-(i). Overall, Objective 21 places significantly more emphasis on the tasks relating to readmission and reintegration, which fall upon countries of origin, than on the obligations linked to return, which bind sending states. The implementing actions contain several laudable provisions, including emphasis on gender-responsive and child-sensitive features of return, the mention of the rights of the child, the principle of the child’s best interests, and the right to family life and family unity (in the context of return of children) and procedural guarantees. Yet, the actions fail to include a number of norms which are fundamental in the process of expulsion, such as the principle of non-refoulement, prohibition of collective expulsion, and the right to life and prohibition of ill-treatment during forcible return.


Full blog post here



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