Sana Mustafa, Founding Member, Network for Refugee Voices
The zero draft of the Global Compact on Refugees in its current state reads like a list of recommendations and best practices, without suggesting actionable or concrete solutions. The draft calls on the international community to meet the “needs” not “rights” of refugee and host communities and stays away from issues like refugee human rights and access to justice.
The Programme of Action makes extensive recommendations related to “voluntary repatriation” but nonrefoulement is not mentioned in the document. The Compact must reinforce and add to the refugee protection regime in place and take a rights-based approach to new solutions.
As The Network for Refugee Voices, we are happy to see that the zero draft recognizes the need to consult refugee communities in these processes; this is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. Refugee self-reliance requires refugee participation in designing and implementing these policies; we should be empowering refugee-led initiatives and including refugees in decision-making.
We acknowledge our responsibility to do our part to make this document as ambitious as possible. We look forward to collaborating with member states and stakeholders to ensure the GCR is practical, effective and sustainably implemented.
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