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2 - Minimize adverse drivers

GCM Objectives
2 - Minimize adverse drivers

Objective 2 in the Global Compact for Migration

Minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is based on 23 objectives. This document provides resources for objective 2 (Minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin):

“18. We commit to create conducive political, economic, social and environmental conditions for people to lead peaceful, productive and sustainable lives in their own country and to fulfil their personal aspirations, while ensuring that desperation and deteriorating environments do not compel them to seek a livelihood elsewhere through irregular migration. We further commit to ensure timely and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as to build upon and invest in the implementation of other existing frameworks, in order to enhance the overall impact of the Global Compact to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration. To realize this commitment, we will draw from the following actions:


(a) Promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the commitment to reach the furthest behind first, as well as the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030;

(b) Invest in programmes that accelerate States’ fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals with the aim of eliminating the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin, including through poverty eradication, food security, health and sanitation, education, inclusive economic growth, infrastructure, urban and rural development, employment creation, decent work, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, resilience and disaster risk reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, addressing the socioeconomic effects of all forms of violence, non-discrimination, the rule of law and good governance, access to justice and protection of human rights, as well as creating and maintaining peaceful and inclusive societies with effective, accountable and transparent institutions;

(c) Establish or strengthen mechanisms to monitor and anticipate the development of risks and threats that might trigger or affect migration movements, strengthen early warning systems, develop emergency procedures and toolkits, launch emergency operations and support post-emergency recovery, in close cooperation with and in support of other States, relevant national and local authorities, national human rights institutions and civil society;

(d) Invest in sustainable development at the local and national levels in all regions, allowing all people to improve their lives and meet their aspirations, by fostering sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, including through private and foreign direct investment and trade preferences, to create conducive conditions that allow communities and individuals to take advantage of opportunities in their own countries and drive sustainable development;

(e) Invest in human capital development by promoting entrepreneurship, education, vocational training and skills development programmes and partnerships, productive employment creation, in line with labour market needs, as well as in cooperation with the private sector and trade unions, with a view to reducing youth unemployment, avoiding brain drain and optimizing brain gain in countries of origin, and harnessing the demographic dividend;

(f) Strengthen collaboration between humanitarian and development actors, including by promoting joint analysis, multi-donor approaches and multi-year funding cycles, in order to develop long-term responses and outcomes that ensure respect for the rights of affected individuals, resilience and coping capacities of populations, as well as economic and social self-reliance, and by ensuring that these efforts take migration into account;

(g) Account for migrants in national emergency preparedness and response, including by taking into consideration relevant recommendations from State -led consultative processes, such as the Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disaster (Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative Guidelines); Natural disasters, the adverse effects of climate change, and environmental degradation

(h) Strengthen joint analysis and sharing of information to better map, understand, predict and address migration movements, such as those that may result from sudden-onset and slow-onset natural disasters, the adverse effects of climate change, environmental degradation, as well as other precarious situations, while ensuring effective respect for and protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all migrants;

(i) Develop adaptation and resilience strategies to sudden-onset and slowonset natural disasters, the adverse effects of climate change, and environmental degradation, such as desertification, land degradation, drought and sea level rise, taking into account the potential implications for migration, while recognizing that adaptation in the country of origin is a priority;

(j) Integrate displacement considerations into disaster preparedness strategies and promote cooperation with neighbouring and other relevant countries to prepare for early warning, contingency planning, stockpiling, coordination mechanisms, evacuation planning, reception and assistance arrangements, and public information;

(k) Harmonize and develop approaches and mechanisms at the subregional and regional levels to address the vulnerabilities of persons affected by sudden-onset and slow-onset natural disasters, by ensuring that they have access to humanitarian assistance that meets their essential needs with full respect for their rights wherever they are, and by promoting sustainable outcomes that increase resilience and self-reliance, taking into account the capacities of all countries involved;

(l) Develop coherent approaches to address the challenges of migration movements in the context of sudden-onset and slow-onset natural disasters, including by taking into consideration relevant recommendations from State-led consultative processes, such as the Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change, and the Platform on Disaster Displacement.”
(GCM, 2018: para. 18)

As implied by the diversity of the aforementioned responses, the concept of “drivers of migration” is dynamic, reflecting the complex interaction of personal, social, structural, environmental and circumstantial factors that unfolds alongside local, national, regional and global level incentives and constraints. Drivers influence the decision to migrate, whether the migration is internal or international, regular or irregular, temporary or permanent. Drivers usually operate along a spectrum between voluntary and involuntary movement. Given the lack of agreed terminology, academics, policy-makers and practitioners often use the terms “drivers” and “root causes” synonymously to describe the underlying conditions or accumulation of factors that progressively shape people’s movement, including displacement.  The concept of ”migration drivers" can also be understood broadly to encompass “root causes”. Also often referred to as “determinants of migration”, drivers can be shaped by enabling factors, including a positive desire for change, entrepreneurship, skills transfer, family reunification, cultural expectations, and filling labour demands abroad, Drivers are also shaped by negative impacts, including responding to sudden shocks, adapting to slow onset pressures, or coping with chronic hardships, such as those associated with underdevelopment, poverty, food insecurity, poor governance, disasters, climate change, environmental degradation, cultural factors, inequalities, persecution, human rights violations, armed conflicts, violence or serious disturbances of public order, among others (see: IOM Glossary on Migration, 2019).


Adverse Drivers of Migration in the text of the Global Compact

The drivers outlined in Objective 2 are also mentioned in the following sections of the GCM:

  • Vision and guiding principles (para. #12)
  • Objective 1: Collect and utilize accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies (para. #17b, #17f)

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) report is available in AR, ZH, EN, FR, RU, ES.


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*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).