Oral Intervention on the Draft Outcome Document For19 September 2016 High-Level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, Rev. 1 (12 July 2016) and the Global Compact on Refugees, Rev. 1 (15 July 2016)

 

20 July 2016

by Nicholas Anton
Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council

After speaking with a wide array of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants, I discerned a few key points as “high concerns” from the ground. They first did not feel they were being heard. Yes, they said people came to listen to them, but they weren’t heard when it came to actual implementation or follow-through. But given the time allowance, today I will only provide specific recommendations based on two of the concerns:

Generally in both the Declaration and the Global Compact:

Since different countries define “children” by different age and maturity brackets, we suggest that “and youth” is added after “children” throughout the document as appropriate, especially when unaccompanied children and education are mentioned.

As appropriate throughout the document include a commitment to “special financial or resource provisions for families with children and youth in order to ensure children and youth not only have the right to education but are free to enjoy it rather than entering the labor force to support their families.”

In the Declaration:

4.15 – add “early childhood” before “primary and secondary education”

4.14 – Change “essential support in key life-saving sectors, eg. Food, water and sanitation, shelter” to “We commit to providing humanitarian assistance to refugees so as to ensure, inter alia, their human rights to water and sanitation, health care, food, and shelter.”

In the Global Compact:

Point 5, 3rd paragraph – change this to read “meet essential needs of refugees by ensuring, inter alia, their human rights to water and sanitation, food, nutrition, shelter, health care and psycho-social support;”