Statement at HDIM Working Session 12 on the Rights of Migrants

Delivered by Senior Adviser Lars Løberg at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), Warsaw, 18 September 2018

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Chair,

Norway recalls our commitments enshrined in para. 9 of the Astana Commemorative Declaration, which reads:

[I]n today’s complex and inter-connected world, we must achieve greater unity of purpose and action in facing emerging transnational threats, such as terrorism, organized crime, illegal migration, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyber threats and the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, drugs and human beings. Such threats can originate within or outside our region.

Since 2015, Europe has faced a major challenge of migratory pressure from outside its borders. Orderly, regular and safe migration is a benefit to both the sending and receiving state and to the migrants themselves. Irregular migration is not. Such migration is clearly a security issue; all states have the right to decide who may enter its territory and remain there. If migratory movements are not handled in a consorted way, they could ultimately lead to instability and destructive nationalism. However, the refugee crisis was also a test for our common values. We see that the crisis has precipitated a decline in the human rights discourse in Europe.

It is therefore important to bear in mind that all migrants, whether they are regular or irregular, are protected by all universal human rights. These rights follow individuals on the move: at their origin, at border crossings, in transit, and at their destination, regardless of their status. It is essential to keep human rights at the centre of all policies addressing the situation for refugees and migrants However, that does not mean that everybody are entitled to the same access to services, such as health, education, work wherever they may be. There is a difference between those who have been permitted to stay and those who have not.

All OSCE participating states must stand together in a joint effort to reduce the number of irregular migrants and to fight smuggling and illicit trafficking of human beings. In this respect, we urge the OSCE participating states to support the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakesh in December and to live up to its objectives.

Irregular migration has proved to be a threat to our common security. Different approaches to migration among the OSCE participating states have shown how easily such a threat can cause dispute rather than cooperation. We urge all participating States to contribute to the follow-up of the Astana Declaration, and to identify areas where the OSCE uniquely can contribute. In this way, we can ensure complementarity and avoid overlap with the work of other multilateral organizations.

Thank you.

 

Statement at HDIM Working Session 12 on the Rights of Migrants.