The launch of the report, “guidelines to protect migrants in countries that are experiencing either conflict or natural disasters”, served as a concrete contribution to addressing the problems that migrants could face come the large movement of refugees in September. Panelists commented on the fact that recent events have shown how vulnerable migrants really can be during a crisis in their host country. Sir Peter Sutherland was thanked for his efforts in 2013, calling on the United Nations to make take initiative on this issue and urging both government agencies and community organizations to work harder in ensuring beneficial knowledge to all, regardless of immigration status. It was also mentioned that there will be two UN summits this summer that will focus primarily on migrant protection during vulnerable times and discussing the global responsibilities all countries share in helping these migrants. Noted, was that the MICIC guidelines have served as a model for state-led guidelines that are focused on practical application. It is also important to note that MICIC has not produced anything binding or legally obligating, but rather a piece of a much larger set of policies to improve migrant protection.
Ms. Lourdes Yparraguirre mentioned that 10% of Philippinos are located in over 200 countries worldwide, which is why policies and programs have been created to address their crisis situations. Many other countries are said to have no record of who the incoming migrants are and where they are from. It has become obvious that guidelines are needed to be set to protect these migrants and the United States and Philippines are the ideal leaders, said panel members. The 10 key principals were then reviewed by the panel on the notions of the need to focus on preparedness, emergency response, and post-crisis action.
Meeting: Launch of “Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disaster” (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of the Philippines, the United States Mission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM))
Date/Time/Location: Wednesday, June 15, 2016; 10:00-13:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber
Speakers: Ms. Lourdes Yparraguirre, Representative of Philippines mission to the UN; Sir Peter Sutherland, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration;
Written by: WIT Representative, Amirali Agha-Khan
Edited by: WIT Administrator, Modou Cham