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Human Rights & Refugees

October 2022

Statement on the Peace Testimony and Ukraine

In October 2022, QUNO joined representatives from the Friends World Committee for Consultation, Friends Committee on National Legislation, American Friends Service Committee, Canadian Friends Service Committee, the Quaker Council on European Affairs and Quaker Peace and Social Witness in releasing this statement on the Peace Testimony and the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

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September 2022

Geneva Reporter September 2022

QUNO's September 2022 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes a welcome letter from our Director Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and reporting on the International Migration Review Forum from the Human Rights & Refugees team. It also includes updates from our Peace and Disarmament (P&D), Human Impacts of Climate Change (HICC) and Sustainable and Just Economic Systems (SJES) programmes.

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March 2022

The Crisis in Ukraine: A brief UN overview

Following weeks of speculation and intelligence reports, the Russian government initiated new military operations in Ukraine beginning on 24 February. This military attack has had immediate far-reaching impacts, sparked a massive humanitarian crisis, and raised serious concern about potential ecological damage. On the global stage, a range of actions have been taken in response, including measures within the United Nations (UN). This document provides brief details on the response by specific UN bodies thus far and does not include information on all actions taken by UN entities or individual Member States. A letter by the Directors of QUNO’s Geneva and New York offices accompanied the release of this document and can be read here.

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February 2022

Delivering on the promise of the GCM: Migration Justice Briefing Paper Series

As we work towards an ambitious, effective and human rights-based discussion and outcome at the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) we are producing a series of short papers to support steps towards migration justice through delivering on the promise of people-centered migration governance contained in the Global Compact of Migration.

The papers on this page cover the following: :

  • Paper 4: Meaningful Participation: Centring Migrant Expertise and Experience
  • Paper 5: Dismantling systemic racism in migration governance
  • Paper 6: Migrants in vulnerable situations as a result of migration policies and practices 

See here for papers 1-3 on what is the IMRF, why the IMRF is important, and key entry points on the roadmap. 

QUNO thanks the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation for their support with translations and design for this series.

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December 2021

Delivering on the promise of the GCM: Migration Justice Briefing Paper Series

As we work towards an ambitious, effective and human rights-based discussion and outcome at the International Migration Review Forum we are producing a series of short papers to support steps towards migration justice through delivering on the promise of people-centered migration governance contained in the Global Compact of Migration.

The papers on this page cover the following: 

  • What is the IMRF? 
  • Why does the IMRF matter? 
  • Key entry points in the roadmap to the IMRF 

For thematic papers with policy recommendations, please see here. 

QUNO thanks the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation for their support with translations and design for this series.

 

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December 2021

New Geneva Reporter is available

QUNO's  December 2021 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes reflections and updates from QUNO staff who attended COP 26 in Glasgow on November 2021. This issue also provides updates on our programs, Peace and Disarmament (P&D) and Human Rights and Refugees. We also welcome QUNO's new incoming director, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, and say farewell to our outgoing director, Jonathan Woolley who will retire on 31 December 2021.You can read more about Nozizwe and her vision for QUNO in the Q&A section. 

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December 2021

New Geneva Reporter is available

QUNO's December 2021 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes reflections and updates from QUNO staff who attended COP 26 in Glasgow on November 2021. This issue also provides updates on our programs, Peace and Disarmament (P&D) and Human Rights and Refugees. We also welcome QUNO's new incoming director, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, and say farewell to our outgoing director, Jonathan Woolley who will retire on 31 December 2021.You can read more about Nozizwe and her vision for QUNO in the Q&A section. 

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October 2021

What is the International Migration Review Forum?

See attached the first paper of a series of short briefing notes titled: Migration Justice: Delivering on the Promise of the Global Compact for Migration to support steps towards migration justice through delivering on the promise of people-centered migration governance contained in the Global Compact of Migration. 

This policy brief provides details of the scope of work and structure of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF). Also, the paper includes entry points for civil society to use the IMRF for human rights protection and migration justice.

See below for the Spanish and French versions. QUNO thanks the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation for their support.

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September 2021

Geneva Reporter

QUNO's September 2021 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This issue includes an updates of our work leading up to COP 26 in Glasgow as well as our work on legal arms trade and human rights, trade and sustainability at the WTO, and the HRC and dehumanizing treatment of migrants. Our QUNO Q&A for this issue features an interview with former PA Daniel Cullen.

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September 2021

New Opportunities to Further Action on Racial Justice and Migration Governance

The Human Rights and Refugees Program at QUNO-Geneva has begun to work explicitly on the intersection between racial justice and migration governance seeking to bring an anti-racist approach and analysis to our work on migration. The purpose of this paper is to briefly outline new UN mechanisms and highlight our initial ideas of possible actions and ways to engage during this time to further action on racial justice and migration governance. In response to the massive protests and calls for racial justice in 2020, the High Commissioner for Human Rights set out an agenda for transformative change for racial justice. New processes create entry points for States to build on, complement, and accelerate an anti-racism agenda, including on migration.

Some examples include:

  • the International Independent Expert Mechanism can hold consultations with migrants on their experiences of law enforcement and systemic racism
  • the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent can develop specific recommendations on migration governance for States.
  • In the run-up and during the International Migration Review Forum, opportunities can be created for advancing racial justice within the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration.

Working for racial justice is central to working for migration justice and we are committed to building a world without violence where dignity and rights are upheld regardless of migration status and not on the basis of citizenship or perceived deservedness.

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June 2021

Briefing Paper: Using the Regional Migration Reviews to Further Human Rights Protection

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM), adopted in 2018, is a significant commitment from governments to take a people centred and human rights based approach to migration policy and to work together towards this. The GCM invites regions to undertake reviews of the implementation of the compact every four years starting in 2020. These processes will feed into the International Migration Review Forum, also due to take place every four years, starting in 2022.

The 2020 Regional Migration Reviews are the first opportunity for States and others to reflect together on the initial steps taken and on how to make further progress to implement the GCM. They are also the first opportunity for detailed multilateral discussion on migration governance following the Covid-19 pandemic and to identify ways to adapt with the GCM as a guiding framework. 

This paper is intended to help migrants, NGOs and other stakeholders to engage with the Regional Migration Reviews as part of their work to improve the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants.

 

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May 2021

Report on Conscientious Objection to Military Service and Refugee Status Determination

To mark International Conscientious Objectors' Day on the 15TH of May 2021, QUNO is pleased to be releasing our new publication on conscientious objection and refugee status determination procedures. This report aims to support informed refugee status determination for conscientious objectors to military service seeking asylum by highlighting relevant international and regional standards and jurisprudence and analyzing national guidance. We are keen to carry out further research covering other countries and regions and encourage people with access to this information to contact the Human Rights & Refugees programme.                                                                              

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February 2021

International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service 2021

This updated paper lays out the ways in which conscientious objection has been recognized and is protected under human rights treaties and mechanisms, taking into account developments in international standards that have occurred since 2015. These strengthened standards can be used by frontline organizations as a tool to limit suffering, improve lives and challenge root causes of injustice.

They are available below in English, Russian, Spanish and French. 

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December 2020

Geneva Reporter

QUNO's December 2020 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This expanded issue includes a special feature with QUNO perspectives on multilateralism and the UN's 75th anniversary. The issue also features brief news updates, recent publications and a QUNO Q&A with 2014 Quaker UN Summer School participant Annie Pickering.

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December 2020

Quaker Statement on Migration

Working together American Friends Service Committee, Britain Yearly Meeting, Friends Committee for National Legislation, Quaker Council for European Affairs and Quaker United Nations Office have developed a statement on migration drawing on Quaker foundations and work with migrants and on migration. The core of the statement says:

Rooted in our belief that there is that of the sacred in everyone, our spiritual leading to uphold the inherent value and agency of every human being, and our commitment to building a world without violence, we are heartbroken by migration policy that dehumanizes some members of our human family on the basis of where they come from. We reject the notion that security for some can be achieved through means that use or result in violence and insecurity for others. We abhor the many forms of violence used in the management of migration and the effect current migration systems have in dividing our human family. 

We are committed to working for a world where dignity and rights are upheld regardless of migration status and not on the basis of citizenship or perceived deservedness.  Our faith calls us to work alone and with others for migration justice.  

Friends, Meetings and Quaker agencies and organizations around the world work for migration justice, bearing witness to the Quaker testimonies of peace and equality. Though our working methods may differ, the organizations that developed this statement are united by the shared vision expressed in this statement.

We encourage Meetings, Quaker organizations and Friends’ groups or associations to consider supporting the statement and signing on to it. 

If your organization, group or Meeting would like to sign on to support the statement or if you have questions about the statement or comments on it please email the Quaker UN Office’s Human Rights and Refugees team: Laurel Townhead ltownhead@quno.ch and Najmah Ali nali@quno.ch

The list of supporting Meetings, groups and organisations will be updated regularly and can be seen below: 

The Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network 

Quaker Earthcare Witness 

Esher Meeting

Trenton Meeting of Friends

West Brattleboro Quaker Worship Group

Montana Gathering of Friends 

Geneva Monthly Meeting

Switzerland Yearly Meeting

Honolulu Friends Meeting

St Andrews Local Meeting

Pima Monthly Meeting

Pittsburgh Friends Meeting

Midlothian Friends Meeting

Bridge City Friends Meeting

Sandpoint Friends Meeting 

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October 2020

Briefing Paper: Using the Regional Migration Reviews to Further Human Rights Protection

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM), adopted in 2018, is a significant commitment from governments to take a people centred and human rights based approach to migration policy and to work together towards this. The GCM invites regions to undertake reviews of the implementation of the compact every four years starting in 2020. These processes will feed into the International Migration Review Forum, also due to take place every four years, starting in 2022.

The 2020 Regional Migration Reviews are the first opportunity for States and others to reflect together on the initial steps taken and on how to make further progress to implement the GCM. They are also the first opportunity for detailed multilateral discussion on migration governance following the Covid-19 pandemic and to identify ways to adapt with the GCM as a guiding framework. 

This paper is intended to help migrants, NGOs and other stakeholders to engage with the Regional Migration Reviews as part of their work to improve the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants.

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October 2020

Geneva Reporter

QUNO's October 2020 issue of the Geneva Reporter newsletter is available below. This expanded issue includes a special feature from our programme Representatives on the impact of Covid on our work and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This issue also features a Q&A with our 2019-2020 PAs on their experience leading the first ever virtual Summer School; brief news updates and a QUNO Q&A with Beatrice Liese.

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October 2020

Briefing Paper: Not Forgotten: Human Rights of Migrants at the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council

The Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) believes in the inherent worth of every individual and is committed to working for migration justice. This includes the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants, regardless of migration status. Migration has been an integral component of our societies throughout history; however, migrants continue to face hostility, criminalization and violence which underlines what the High Commissioner of Human Rights has described as a lethal disregard for migrant’s lives. This is further exacerbated by the Covid-19 global pandemic which is disproportionately impacting on those in situations of marginalization and vulnerability.

The Human Rights Council has an important role to play in the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants and should contribute both to preventing violations and responding to human rights violations. This report provides a thorough collection of relevant elements from thematic reports, panels, debates, dialogues and resolutions and identifies potential entry points through activities mandated in resolutions adopted at this session.

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