Global Compact for Migration 2018 - Seeker's Thoughts

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Global Compact for Migration 2018

According to United Nations, there were 258 million international migrants in the world in 2017, increasing almost 50% since 2000. The number of migrants, representing 3.4 % of the world’s population, is increasing faster than the global population. There is no doubt that population of migrants is driven by economic prosperity, inequality, violence, conflict and climate change.  

Migrants do contribute in development of their native countries- as they send a huge amount of remittance to their family members. Around 80% of the world’s migrants move between countries in a safe and orderly fashion. However, due to recent crisis in Afghanistan, Syria and Some part of African Nations, more than 60,000 people have died on the move since the years 2000.

Besides in transit countries or the country of destination, racism, discrimination and human-rights violations are continuously reported. The process of developing a compact for the safety and security of migrants was started in early 2017. Due to the process, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants was adopted in September 2016. 

In the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted in September 2016, the General Assembly decided to develop a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. The process to develop this global compact for migration started in April 2017.

Global compact for migration and Indian migration provisions

The Global Compact for Migration, the agreement has been formally adopted by 164 nations in Morocco on 11th December, for the first time ever, United Nations member states, except the U.S.

Working areas

Nations agreed on a deal to better manage international migration, addresses its challenges strengthen migrant rights and contribute to sustainable development.


 To ease pressure on host countries, to enhance refugee self-reliance, to expand access to third country solutions, to support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.
It seeks to better manage migration at local, national and global levels, in order to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities of migrants. It creates a non-legally binding and co-operative framework.
The Global Compact for Migration, it is first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared the United Nations, to cover wide-ranging dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

Controversies Related Global Compact for Migration

The number of countries opposing the pact is increasing almost daily as the sentiments of nationalism are higher. The Dominican Republic is the latest country to join Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in refusing to sign the document that they negotiated for 18months.

The Global Compact for Migration is creating heated political tension in other countries, too. In Belgium, the government was even in danger of collapse over it. Italy and Estonia have not attended the conference. Switzerland, which led the negotiations as co-facilitator, won’t back the Global Compact for migration in Marrakesh either, instead of delaying the decision until voting in parliament.

The US quit negotiations early on, in December 2017, and was followed by Hungary seven months later.

What analysts say about it?

Many analysts have recognized that the final text is far from perfect. Yet most agree about the significance of the negotiation for multilateralism and global cooperation. High-level officials and decision makers in the field of migration – recognised that the compact was both the best and the worst moment to negotiate the GCM.

The attention on migration in the past has created the conditions to start an unprecedented global negotiation but within the most hostile environment possible. The risk of countries leaving the pact overshadowed the process from the beginning.

Why Global compact for migration is not much welcoming?

First, states with a restrictive migration agenda, such as Hungary, consider the symbolic act of approving the GCM as a sign that they are promoting migration, the regulation of migration is not seen as a matter of laws, policies and “border walls”, but also as a matter of communication. Some officials believe that if a country is perceived to be open towards immigration, it is providing incentives for migration, whereas harsh rhetoric is seen as a deterrent.

Such perspective partly uncertain the complexity and multifaceted reasons why people migrate. It is also unrealistic to believe that many would- be migrants closely follow the Global Compact for the Migration process. But countries with a restrictive migrations agenda don’t want to take any risks. Instead, their aim to reaffirm their restrictive position by rejecting the GCM.

India is also a part of the Global Compact Migration

Current scenario related to migration in India

India has a long history of migration. More than a century ago, large numbers of Indian migrants, many of them involuntary ones moved to Africa and the Caribbean and within the Indian subcontinent itself. Some of the top destinations of Indian migrants in more recent decades include Persian Gulf countries, North America and Europe.

As of 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were living in other countries. India has been among the world’s top origin countries if migrants since the United Nations started tracking migrant’s origin in 1990. The number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled over the past 25 years, growing about twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population.

Origins and Destinations of international migrants

Nearly half of India’s migrants are in just three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and the United States. About 3.5 million Indians live in the UAE, the top destination country for Indian migrants. Over the past two decades, millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as laborers. Pakistan has the second-largest number of migrants from India residing in the nation.

Almost 2 million and more live in the U.S making it the country’s third-largest immigrants groups. Among Indian Americans, nearly nine-in-ten were born in India. As a whole, India Americans are among the highest educated and have some of the highest income among the racial and ethnic group in the U.S

India is on world’s top destinations for international migrants

As of 2015, about 5.2 million immigrants live in India, making it the 12th largest immigrant population in the world. The overwhelming majority of India’s immigrants are from neighboring countries such as Bangladesh (3.2 million), Pakistan (1.1 million), Nepal (540,000) and Sri Lanka (160,000)

India’s religious minorities have been more likely to migrate internationally

According to the 2010 Pew Research Centre Estimate. Religious minorities make a larger share of India’s international migrant population than they do among the nation’s domestic population. About 19% of the India international migrant’s populations were Christian, compared with only 3% of the population in India. Similarly, an estimated 27% of the Indian international migrant's population was Muslim, compared with 14% of the population in India. The reverse is true for Hindu: only 45% of India’s international migrant population was Hindu, compared with 80% of the population in India.

Reasons for Migration

The main reason for migration is the employment or business related migration. The male migration constitutes the highest level of migration in India due to employment purpose.

People migrate in large number from rural to urban areas in search for employment. Mostly from the agriculture sector, people don’t find their own place worthy to get adequate income, so they migrate as urban areas give them a better opportunity of employment.

Rural people migrate to the urban centre for better education and health services as they are not able to get these services in rural areas.

Another reason is the lack of security, interethnic conflicts, and political disturbance drives people away from home.

Pull and Push factors 

People migrate due to ‘push factor’ such as hunger and starvation. They do not find any means of livelihood in their village; they are pushed out to the nearby country or distant town. The appalling living conditions like slums, lack of safe water, forcibly, the absence of sanitation, overcrowding with the attendant increase in crime insecurity for women, sexual abuse, exposure to frequent epidemics.

Economic Effect

A major benefit for the source is the remittance sent by migrants. Remittances from the international migrants are one of the major sources of foreign exchange.

Estimated at 30 million with a presence in 189 countries, the Indian Diaspora produces an annual economic of about 400$ billion, almost 30% of India’s GDP.