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Declaration for the Dignified Treatment of all Missing and Deceased Persons and their Families as a Consequence of Migrant Journeys

Repositorio de Prácticas

Declaration for the Dignified Treatment of all Missing and Deceased Persons and their Families as a Consequence of Migrant Journeys

Primary GCM Objectives

Principios Rectores del Pacto Mundial para la Migración*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS)


2016 - Presente

Tipo de práctica

Partnership/Multistakeholder initiative

Geographic Scope



The Mytilini Declaration, and the Last Rights project, came about as a result of the numerous and dangerous migrant journeys taking place throughout the world. In the course of these journeys, there is a need for the dignified treatment of all persons, including the missing and deceased as well as their family members. The Mytilini Declaration ultimately aims to provide guidelines relating to how international law can be used to protect people’s rights in situations of border death and loss in clear, practical, and implementable terms. The beneficiaries of this practice include all actors, whether State or non-State, and will support them to perform tasks in such a way to deliver respect for the substantive rights of the missing, dead, and bereaved. On 11 May 2018, the Mytilini Declaration was agreed. This was a landmark in establishing the rights and duties towards those who experience suffering because of death or disappearance of their loved ones in the course of migrant journeys. Methoria, and Last Rights, is operated by a small team comprised of the two co-founders and two legal consultants. Its donors include the Joffe Charitable Trust, Matrix Chambers, the Oak Foundation, Fund for Global Human Rights, and Lush Charity pot.


Principales organizaciones implementadoras


Des informations détaillées

Methoria, Last Rights

Beneficio e impacto

The Mytilini Declaration represents a landmark in establishing the rights and duties towards those who experience suffering because of the death or disappearance of their loved ones as a result of migrant journeys. Last Rights still calls on all countries and international bodies to ensure that these rights are respected and the standards are implemented as a matter of urgency. The Declaration outlines well established principles of international law and calls for the cooperation of State authorities, State actors, and non-State actors. By doing so, the Declaration will have a wide reach internationally and encourage organisations to engage with this issue. There is no clear end date for this initiative. Migrant journeys remain perilous and there is still much to do to ensure respect for fundamental human rights of migrants and their surviving family members.

Lecciones clave

The main challenge during the implementation of the Mytilini Declaration is encouraging State and non-State actors to endorse the Declaration and effectively implement its agreed principles. The issue of perilous migrant journeys and the loss of life of persons attempting to make these journeys remains prominent and represents a significant aspect of asylum and migration law and policy. The Declaration remains open for endorsement and Last Rights emphasizes the importance and relevance of it in its ongoing work.
It was also challenging to reach consensus when drafting the Declaration. This was practical and theoretical challenge to combine the knowledge and practical skills and experience of stakeholders whilst refining the content. All contributors were experts in their own right and possessed expertise in international human rights and migrant rights. This challenge was overcome by encouraging online consultation of the draft Declaration as well as deliberation over two days before a final agreement was reached.
Since the Declaration, Last Rights has built upon and expanded its work in this area by agreeing and publishing its Memorial of Grief and Grievances which is a strong condemnation of the laws and policies which lead to the avoidable death and disappearance of many people making migrant journeys.

Recomendaciones(para replicar)

The Mytilini Declaration is open for endorsement and all actors are encouraged to sign and implement its provisions full and promote the dignified treatment of all missing and deceased persons and their families.


This practice meets the eligibility criteria because there has been successful implementation and recognition at the global, regional, and national level. It is an innovative project and sets out clear, practical, and implementable measures to provide dignity, truth, and access to justice in relation to migrant death and disappearance. This is a sustainable practice because it is founded on well accepted international human rights norms and jurisprudence and humanitarian practices. This is a scalable practice as the Declaration can be endorsed by State and non-State actors and stakeholders. There is therefore potential for wide-scale application and implementation. While open for endorsement, and while the issue of migrant deaths and disappearances remains, the Mytilini Declaration will continue to hold weight and relevance.

Fecha Enviado:

15 August 2023

*Todas las referencias a Kosovo deben entenderse en el contexto de la Resolución 1244 [1999] del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas.