Commentary by Francois Crépeau: “Much ado about nothing, really. Not that the GCM is not worth anything. As a conceptual framework, it provides a useful tool to initiate international cooperation on migration issues and channel it over the coming decades. However, it is not in any way mandatory and therefore does not oblige any State to do anything any time soon. Moreover, the GCM does not deny any sovereign power to exclude dangerous foreigners or control borders appropriately. The GCM is therefore not worth the current European “meltdown”, which is caused by politics, not policy. Once again, nationalist populist politicians will use any kind of fodder to revel in myths, buttress stereotypes and stoke fears, presenting themselves as saviors. Other politicians allow them to do this by not taking a principled stand on mobility and diversity.”
It was like watching paint dry, or other people’s children play baseball. Last month Gert Raudsep, an Estonian actor, spent two hours on prime-time television reading out the text of a un migration agreement. Estonia’s government was tottering over whether to pull out of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to give it its full name. So Mr Raudsep was invited to present the source of the discord to worried viewers. Thoughts of weary migrants from Africa and Latin America kept him going, he said. “But my eyes got a bit tired.”
Mr Raudsep’s recital made for dull viewing because the compact is a dull document. Its 23 “objectives” are peppered with vague declarations, platitudes and split differences. Partly in the spirit of other global agreements like the Paris climate deal, it encourages states to co-operate on tricky cross-border matters without forcing them to do anything. It urges governments to treat migrants properly, but also to work together on sending them home when necessary. At best it helps build the trust between “sending” and “receiving” countries that is the foundation of any meaningful international migration policy.
None of this has prevented European governments from melting down over it. In the end Estonia resolved its row; it will join more than 180 other countries in Marrakesh on December 10th-11th to adopt the compact. But so far at least ten others, including seven from Europe, have followed the lead of Donald Trump and pulled out of a deal that they helped negotiate. The agreement is agitating parliaments, sparking protests and splintering coalitions; Belgium’s is on the verge of collapse. More withdrawals may follow.
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Monday, November 19, 2018 from 1pm to 2:30pm. McGill University Faculty of Law, NCDH 316.
LUNCH IS INCLUDED.
This presentation will focus on reconsidering inherited assumptions about parenthood, household and the concept of care during times of prolonged parent-child separation. The migration of Central and Eastern European parents in the domestic care sector of Europe has allowed for the development of a unique system of transnational welfare between home and host societies. Across the globe, transnational family life takes place at the intersection of various legal, policy and market regimes, requiring that the boundaries of family law and migration law be redrawn. Examining this issue in the European sphere allows for a unique perspective as EU regulation and jurisprudence attempts to balance competing interests of the right to free movement and the right to family life. Going forward the framework developed in the dissertation allows for much needed comparative analysis with transnational family life outside of the transnational space of the European Union. Further exploration of the lived experience of mobile families within in and beyond the EU will carry valuable lessons and lead to useful analytical approaches for both theory and practice.
About the Presenter:
Dr. Edit Frenyó’s teaching and research experience revolve around the areas of Transnational Family Law, Migration Studies, Human Rights and Children’s Rights. After having completed her undergraduate legal studies with distinction at the University of Szeged’s Faculty of Law, she practiced civil law as a full time notarial clerk in Budapest, Hungary. Ms. Frenyó earned an LL.M. at Boston College Law School in 2010, where she spent the subsequent year as a visiting scholar/teaching assistant, co-developing and -teaching a new course, International Human Rights: Semester in Practice. She earned her S.J.D at Georgetown University Law Center, where she applied perspectives of law and the social sciences in her doctoral research, to explore the contemporary phenomena of transnational families.
Monday, November 12, 2018 from 1pm to 2:30pm. McGill University Faculty of Law, NCDH 202
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that at least 10 million people around the world are not considered a national by any state. Around 40 per cent of the identified stateless population of the world live in the Asia Pacific region. Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) harbour some of the largest stateless populations in Asia. The presentation takes stock of ASEAN and its member states’ stance on statelessness. It first maps some of the predominant causes of statelessness, and then provides an overview of ASEAN member states’ responses to statelessness. It concludes with a discussion of the lessons that could be drawn from these responses for future action to address statelessness in the region.
About the Presenter:
Dr. Rodziana Mohamed Razali has researched statelessness since 2013 and completed her PhD at the National University of Malaysia in 2016. Her thesis is entitled “Protection against Statelessness at Birth: International and Domestic Legal Frameworks of ASEAN Member States with a Special Case Study on Kota Kinabalu, Sabah”. She was previously in the Malaysian Judicial and Legal Service before leaving for her Masters of Laws at the University of Melbourne. She is now a senior lecturer at the Islamic Science University of Malaysia, an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya (Non-practicing) and a member of Statelessness Network Asia Pacific (SNAP). From 2018-19, she is attached to the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill University as a Steinberg Post-Doctoral Fellow in International Migration Law researching birth registration and legal identity.
By Daniel Trilling
Myth 1: The crisis is over
The refugee crisis that dominated the news in 2015 and 2016 consisted primarily of a sharp rise in the number of people coming to Europe to claim asylum. Arrivals have now dropped, and governments have cracked down on the movement of undocumented migrants within the EU; many thousands are stuck in reception centres or camps in southern Europe, while others try to make new lives in the places they have settled.
But to see the crisis as an event that began in 2015 and ended the following year is a mistake, because it obscures the fact that the underlying causes have not changed. To see it in those terms only gives the impression of a hitherto unsullied Europe, visited by hordes of foreigners it has little to do with. This is misleading. The disaster of recent years has as much to do with immigration policies drawn up in European capitals as it does with events outside the continent, and the crisis also consists of overreaction and panic, fuelled by a series of misconceptions about who the migrants are, why they come, and what it means for Europe.
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