This historic document establishes a solid platform for collaboration between countries to protect the rights of millions of migrant children – many of whom have faced unimaginable journeys, especially when travelling alone.
Australia was one of the few countries that did not adopt the migration compact.
Save the Children Australia Director of Policy and International Programs Mat Tinkler said there was an unprecedented movement of people, including vulnerable children, around the world which Australia could not ignore.
“The scale of the problem demands cooperation to ensure we manage migration in a safe, humane and orderly way,” Mr Tinkler said.
“This was an opportunity for Australia to be a part of the solution to this global problem, to help ensure migrant children are protected.
“This move puts Australia in the worrying company of those countries that are retreating into a nationalist approach at a time when we should be helping lead debate on these issues.
“Save the Children is deeply disappointed the Australian Government has not signed up to the global compact.”
Some migrant children flee crippling poverty, disasters, violence and human rights abuses only to face abuse, trafficking, deportation, detention or even death. The Global Compact on Migration contains 38 paragraphs referring to children.
With its adoption, we can expect enhanced working together between countries to better protect migrant children – whether that’s before they embark on journey, while a decision is made on their migration status at their destination or in their country of origin in cases of return.
Save the Children’s Global Campaign, Advocacy and Communications Director Patrick Watt said: “The Compact on Migration was developed because the world recognised that protecting the rights of children on the move requires a global, organised response. All children—regardless of where they come from or where they’re going - have the right to be safe, access basic services and not be separated from the people that care for them.
“We must now harness the energy, ideas and experiences of children and young people themselves to ensure that they have a say in the way that this compact is implemented and that it meets their needs.”
Spokespeople are available at the Marrakech conference.
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