To Whom Does the Global Compact Apply? Some Thoughts on GCR Draft 3

It is well understood that the definition of “refugee” in the 1951 Convention does not cover all forced migrants, or even all forced migrants in need of international protection. Through General Assembly resolutions, regional instruments and international practice, the definition of refugee—and UNHCR’s mandate to provide international protection—has evolved.

The New Paradigm of National Ownership: Some Thoughts on GCR Draft 3

The Global Compact on Refugees has evolved from its point of origin as Annex 1 in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

‘Displaced’ Podcast: Let’s Start With How We Define ‘Refugee’

In a bit of shameless self-promotion: IRC and Vox have teamed up to launch a podcast called Displaced. They gave me a chance to talk about the GCR and the refugee regime in general. You can find the podcast here or listen below.

Making the Global Compacts Work for All? A Matter of Information in the Right Language

Millions of people are being forced from their homes by conflict, violence, disaster, or poverty. From those fleeing the war in Syria or climate change-induced droughts, to those stranded in inadequate conditions in Europe, these vulnerable individuals vary widely in terms of nationalities, languages, dialects, educational levels, income, social status, and access to technology. What they share is the overwhelming need for information in a language they understand in order to make decisions about their next steps, remain safe, and access available assistance.

Some Thoughts on the GCR (and the GCM)

It is, I think, a happy state of affairs that the New York Declaration did not include a GCR. It has given UNHCR and interested parties the opportunity to take a broader view of what ails the international refugee regime and what is needed to fix it. This will now be worked out in the “Programme of Action” to be included in the GCR. The Programme of Action is nominally a detailed plan for ensuring success of the CRRF. But already in the Zero Draft of the GCR it is more than that, and it is here that future development of the GCR will, and needs to, take place.

Zero Draft of the Global Compact on Refugees Released: Discussion

UNHCR has released the "Zero Draft" of the Global Compact on Refugees.  I would like to start a thread for commenting on the draft.  What's in the draft of significance; what's left out?  What amendments would you propose? What is the likelihood of state adoption?  Let's get a conversation going.

The High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges—Part 3

High Commissioner Grandi ended the Dialogue with a powerful and informative set of remarks. Mr. Grandi repeatedly emphasized the contribution of hosting states in responding to refugee situations. Thus he began by describing the continuing South Sudanese displacement crisis (about to enter its fifth year), mentioning the six neighboring states that have taken in two million refugees and implicitly contrasting their efforts with the contributions of donor states (only 1/3 of the appeal for funds had been met, and of the 90,000 refugees UNHCR has said need resettlement it is likely that less than 2% will actually be resettled this year). The High Commissioner stated that thinking about responsibility-sharing must begin with recognition that hosting states “pay the highest price” (particularly municipalities). Hosting states, he said, “have been waiting a very long time for things to change.”

The High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges—Part 2

An important dog didn’t bark in Geneva: the United States did not announce that it was withdrawing from the drafting process of the Global Compact on Refugees (as it has from the Global Compact on Migration).

The High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges—Part 1

I am “blogging” (never thought I would use that word) from the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection Challenges in Geneva, which is devoted this year to the Global Compact on Refugees. High Commissioner Grandi gave a lengthy opening statement [see the UNHCR story on the speech]. The HC stated that the next step in the process, following the two day Dialogue, would be the writing of a “zero draft” of the Compact, which would be shared with states prior to the consultation stage set to begin in mid-February.

The Experts Initiative on the Global Compact on Refugees: Conclusions and Explanatory Note

Last month the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School convened a meeting of experts on refugee law and policy to deliberate on, and to make concrete recommendations for, the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). You can find the Conclusions and an Explanatory Note here.