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IMRF Roundtable 2 Consultation

This discussion space is being organized as part of the preparations for the second roundtable (“Roundtable 2”) of the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) which will take place in May 2022. The discussion is moderated by IOM, UNODC and the UN Network on Migration Secretariat and runs until 31 January 2022. Roundtable 2 focuses on reviewing the following GCM objectives:

  • 4 – Legal identity and documentation 
  • 8 – Save lives
  • 9 – Counter smuggling
  • 10 – Eradicate trafficking
  • 11 – Manage borders
  • 13 – Alternatives to detention
  • 21 – Dignified return and reintegration

The aim of this discussion space is to gather inputs from a broad range of Member States and stakeholders in the preparations for that roundtable, and in particular the drafting of its background note, which is being prepared by IOM and UNODC on behalf of the UN Network on Migration, in support of the Member State co-chairs of the roundtable (to be announced in 2022). To contribute, please respond to the discussion questions below.


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Discussion Questions & Comments

3. What emerging and priority challenges related to the objectives would you like to see the Roundtable address?


Florence Kim 

As widely documented, including by the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to migrants (UN Doc. No. A/HRC/44/42), laws related to smuggling and trafficking have been misused to ensnare providers of humanitarian services to migrants. Activities that have been criminalized in various countries under the guise of countering smuggling and trafficking include the provision of humanitarian aid or assistance in seeking asylum and search and rescue missions. Some civil society organizations (CSOs) have reported that even activities such as providing food, water, medical supplies and shelter along migratory routes have been criminalized. Anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking laws—often bearing extremely harsh penalties--have been misused both against the CSOs that work with migrants and against people working in an individual capacity....

In reply to by Florence Kim

Kate Barth 

The correct interpretation of the concepts of the crimes of smuggling of migrants and human trafficking is a key concern at UN level and beyond. At UNODC, as the guardian of the Palermo Protocols, we strive to promote the correct implementation of the international legal framework on countering human trafficking and migrant smuggling, including by developing guidance that help orient criminal justice efforts against these serious and profit-driven crimes. 

The UNTOC (United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime) Travaux Préparatoires, indicate that the reference to “a financial or other material benefit”, as an element of the definition of migrant smuggling, was included to emphasize the intention to criminalize the activities of organized criminal groups acting f...

In reply to by Kate Barth

Florence Kim 

The pandemic has served to restrict migrants’ exercise of their civic freedoms and civic space. Many governments have used the pandemic as an excuse to impose excessive new legal restrictions on their peoples’ rights. This opportunistic response—coupled with extreme pressures that the pandemic put on migrants—has had significant negative consequences on migrants’ ability to exercise their freedoms of assembly, association, and expression. Thus, it has become more and more difficult for migrants to act in their own interest and for CSOs to freely operate (so they can provide services to migrants)—both preconditions crucial to the successful achievement of GCM objectives 15 and 16. The Roundtable should address the challenge of safeguarding civic space and migrant civic freedoms in a crisis environment that has encouraged ...

In reply to by Florence Kim

One of the key priorities for Roundtable 2 should be to examine the role of the financial sector in preventing and discouraging the demand for human trafficking. The United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)’s Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) initiative is working to unlock the potential of the financial sector to prevent, combat and eradicate human trafficking, including in the context of international migration. The financial sector cannot end human trafficking alone. However, human trafficking will not be eradicated without the full and proactive engagement of the financial sector.

Given the essential role of the financial sector in combating human trafficking and in relation ...

In reply to by Florence Kim

FAST would like to see the Roundtable address some of the major challenges the financial sector faces in its efforts to address human trafficking. These challenges should be a priority for Member States aiming to make more substantial progress on objective 10 of the GCM.

The challenges include access to data on trafficking risks and abuses throughout the value chain; de-risking that increases trafficking risks for vulnerable populations; client confidentiality rules limiting access to justice and remedy; and minimal provision of remedy whether directly to victims or through corporate clients.

read more

In reply to by Florence Kim

2. What emerging trends, progress and innovations, related to the GCM objectives under review, do you think should be highlighted?


FAST suggests highlighting these emerging practices from the financial sector, relevant to GCM objectives 10 and 21, at Roundtable 2:

1.  Improving transparency through stock exchange guidance

In December 2021, FAST, Walk Free, and the Stock Exchange of Thailand jointly published Guidance on Modern Slavery Risks for Thai Businesses. The guidance responds to the FAST Blueprint’s recommendation to use market regulation, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) cr...

In reply to by Florence Kim

3. Increasing financial inclusion for survivors

Since 2019, over 2,000 bank accounts have been opened for survivors in the UK, Canada, and the US, through FAST’s Survivor Inclusion Initiative, a consortium of banks and survivor support organizations focused on the reintegration of survivors into the formal financial system. In 2022, FAST will be expanding the initiatives for survivor inclusion to the Global South, prioritizing engagement, consultation and partnership development in Africa, Latin America, and the Ca...

In reply to by Florence Kim

4. Increasing access to remedy through bank grievance mechanisms

In 2019, ABN AMRO began consulting with civil society organizations, trade unions, academics, and other stakeholders about the options for a bank grievance mechanism that could enable remedy for affected populations in direct linkage cases. In 2020, they began testing their new grievance procedure with simulations based on real cases. The bank acknowledged the importance of partnering with civil society organizations and trade unions in publicizing the grievance mechanism and en...

In reply to by Florence Kim

1. What are the key priorities that should shape discussions and best highlight the issues covered by this Roundtable?


Florence Kim 

A key priority is how States can pursue the enumerated GCM objectives in ways that promote and protect human rights and civic space, instead of through rights-restricting means.

In reply to by Florence Kim

Florence Kim 

One key priority is ensuring an enabling legal and policy environment for the achievement of Objectives 15 and 16.

In order for migrants and societies to realize full inclusion and social cohesion (Obj. 16), migrants must be fully empowered to act in their own interests. Migrants cannot “become active members of society […] promoting the reciprocal engagement of receiving communities and migrants in the exercise of their rights and obligations towards each other” (GCM, para. 32) if they are prohibited in law or in practice from speaking, organizing and assembling to pursue collective goals. Unfortunately, migrants’ ability to exercise their civic freedoms is increasingly under threat around the world.  Migrants commonly face significant barriers to their exercise of rights, including discriminatory laws and po...

In reply to by Florence Kim

Florence Kim 

Save My Identity and Coalición por Venezuela highly recommend a transparent and honest discussion on the Objective 4, which has not been implemented by many countries, not even for their own nationals. There are one billion people without legal identification. The Venezuelan legal identification crisis with 6 million refugees, migrants, and displaced persons is increasing the list of persons not treated as human beings because of the lack of a legal identification document.

The United Nations has supported the development of digital ID for refugees going from Myanmar to Thailand, could the same type of solutions be implemented for refugees without legal identification in Latin America? Is this a selective process or solution? 

If countries like Costa Rica could issue travel doc...

In reply to by Florence Kim

One of the key priorities for Roundtable 2 should be to examine the role of the financial sector in preventing and discouraging the demand for human trafficking. The United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)’s Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) initiative is working to unlock the potential of the financial sector to prevent, combat and eradicate human trafficking, including in the context of international migration. The financial sector cannot end human trafficking alone. However, human trafficking will not be eradicated without the full and proactive engagement of the financial sector.

Given the essential role of the financial sector in combating human trafficking and in relation ...

Andy Shen you are underlining a key point in advancing our efforts to prevent and counter trafficking in person, which is also reflected in one of the GCM guiding principles: a whole-of-society approach, that is involving all relevant stakeholders to achieving common objectives.

At UNODC, we have recently launched an initiative in that direction, the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Project, which aims to improve effective partnership between the public and private sectors with a view to better assisting Member States in their implementation of the UNTOC and its supplementing Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

The PPP Project’s overall aim is fostering strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors, to more effectively prevent...

In reply to by Andy Shen

I'm hoping that Roundtable 2 will be able to highlight the idea of international cooperation regarding family reunification. 

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a plethora of international travel restrictions affecting the migration of multinational families. This caused a significant number of family separations due to government policies not reflecting the diverse, global makeup of families today. My organization were directly responsible for the Extended Family and Compassionate Exemptions into Canada. Such policies did not, however, exist in many countries, leaving countless multinational families separated throughout the travel restrictions.

I've attached a draft outlining a framework and a pitch I'm hoping could be reviewed by stakeholders, and am unsure of how to move it forward. 

Much appreciated for your time!


The GFMD Mayors Mechanism – co-steered by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Mayors Migration Council (MMC), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – submits its Position Paper for Roundtable 2.

This paper has been prepared for the 2022 International Migration Review Forum (IMRF). It illustrates the contributions and progress of Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) toward the implementation objectives of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) under discussion at Roundtable 2 of the IMRF. It proposes recommendations to national governments and international organizations for joint action to advance future progress.


The problems of the Female Migrant Smuggling in Sub-Saharan Africa (FMSSA) usually begin at home country. Statistics reveal that the highest percentage of unemployed females is within the age group 20–24 years, closely followed by 15–19 years old. These age groups are most vulnerable to the lure of migration, especially trafficking. The study is mainly concerned with an assessment of the major causes of the FMSSA to foreign countries out of Africa.

The root causes of the FMSSA are the following: feminization of poverty, high unemployment rate in the country, modern days slavery, traditional community attitudes and practices which tolerate violence against women, lobbies of brokers, smugglers and recruitment agencies, inability to secure visas and passports, difficulties to u...

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in discussion are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Network on Migration and its members. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the discussion do not imply expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations or the United Nations Network on Migration concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries.

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